Eternity… Eternity…

There are no suitable words for eternity. There are words close to death. We associate with them in the world. When we are freed of the command of words – these death squads – objects too will enter the realm of immortality. Objects also yearn for immortality. When Imam Azam Ebu Hanife met eternity, he wasn’t at all surprised to find his earthly water clock right by his side. It was the first time a water clock had run outside time. He could hear it working.

Now that’s a miracle!

Words kill the desire for eternity. They stick to death’s agenda. Night’s mouth is full of leaves, day’s is full of night (night is a child), grasses’ full of cloud. All day we carried inside us what we knew and talked of what we knew:


I have always confused words. Words always explain themselves. Sky speaks of its late-coming. Water speaks of horizontals. That words mirror the world is an idea that carries water. I looked at trees before kissing you. Did you see that the trees could see? That’s how we talk, when we talk. Childhood flits from garden to garden. Death is what enters the narrative. Let’s pass it by. The world has no idea it’s turning. The spirit wanders blindly. Sun forgets its name when it sets.


İlhan Berk

Translated by George Messo

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Filed under ilhan Berk, Poetry of the Middle East, Turkish Poetry, World Literature

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