Category Archives: Orhan Veli

George Messo and his Authors

George Messo[1]Here is a very short interview with me talking about translation on the Authors & Translators blog. Click the link for more.


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Filed under Gonca Özmen, ilhan Berk, Orhan Veli, Poetry of the Middle East, Turkish Poetry, World Literature

Coming soon…

Turkish Poetry Today 2013From July 1 the debut issue of Turkish Poetry Today is in more than 100 online bookstores worldwide. Edited by George Messo, with Senol Bezci, Fahri Oz and T. Kenny Fountain. The 2013 issue includes poems by Bejan Matur, Zeynep Koylu, Necmi Zeka, Melih Cevdet Anday, Polat Onat, and Murathan Mungan, in translations by Ruth Christie, Mel Kenne, Sidney Wade, and more, all side-by-side with the Turkish originals. 150 pages of stunning, vital poetry.

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Filed under Art, Censorship, Gonca Özmen, ilhan Berk, Orhan Veli, Poetry of the Middle East, Political discussion, Turkish Poetry, World Literature

To Live


I know, it’s not easy to live,
To fall in love and sing to the one you love,
To stroll in starlight at night,
To warm yourself by the light of day,
To find time like this to meet
On Çamlıca Hill for half a day
—A thousand blues flowing from the Bosphorus—
To forget everything in these leagues of blue.


I know, it isn’t easy to live,
But there
A dead man’s bed is still warm,
Someone’s watch still ticks on his wrist.
Living isn’t easy, brothers,
But neither is dying.

It isn’t easy to leave this world.

Orhan Veli KANIK
Translated by George Messo

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Filed under Orhan Veli, Turkish Poetry, World Literature


Who was it
Said I was struck on Süheyla?
Who was it
Saw me kissing Eleni
Near Yüksekkaldirim in broad daylight?
Then I grabbed Melahat
And took her to Alemdar, right?
I’ll explain that later, but
Whose legs did I touch-up on the tram?
Apparently I have a taste for Galata brothels,
Apparently we get smashed
And go there to unwind.
Don’t waste your time,
Forget all that crap –
Like I don’t know what I’m doing.

Or is it the story of me throwing Mualla
Into a rowing boat and making her sing
“Your pain is in my heart”?


Orhan Veli

Translated by George Messo Continue reading

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