July 21, 2011

Seyhan Erözçelik

Seyhan Erözçelik [Turkey]

Born on March 13, 1962 in Bartin, a town in the Black Sea region of Turkey, Seyhan Erözçelik studied psychology at Boğaziçi University and oriental languages at Istanbul University. In 1986 he co-founded the Șiir Ati (Poetry Horse) publishing house which published over forty titles in the 1980s. He is a member of the Turkish Pen Center and Writer's Syndicate of Turkey. He lived in Istanbul.

His first poem, "Düştanbul" (Dreamstanbul) was published in 1982, followed by a number of collections, including Yeis ile Tabanca (Despair and Pistol, 1986), Hayal Kumpanyasi (The Troop of Imagination, 1990), Gül ve Telve (1997) (translated in 2010 as Rosestrikes and Coffee Grounds), Șehirde Sansar Var! (There Is a Marten in Town! 1999), and Kitap, bitti! (The Book Is Over!, 2003). More recent books have included his collected poems, Kitaplar (2003), Yağmur Taşi (The Rainstone, 2004), and Vâridik, Yoğidik (Once We Were, We Weren't, 2006).

Many of Erözçelik's poems are written in the Bartin dialect, but others appear in different Turkic languages. The poet has also made a modernist use of classical Ottoman rhyme, aruz, particularly in his book Kara Yazili Meşkler (Tunes Written on the Snow, 2003). He has published a critical essay on the modern mysical poet Âsaf Hâlet Çelebi and the forgotten poet Halit Asim, as well as translating the poetry of Osip Mandelstam and C. P. Cavafy into Turkish.
Erözçelik was awarded the Yunus Nadi Prize in 1991, the Behçet Necatigil Poetry Prize in 2004 and the Dionysos Prize in 2005.


Yeis ile Tabanca (1986); Hayal Kulmpanyasi (1990); Gül ve Telve (Istanbul: Yapi Kredi Yayinlari, 1997); Șehirde Sansar Var! (1999); Kitap, bitti! (2003); Kitplar (2003); Yağmur Taşi (2004); Vâridik, Yoğidik (2006); Pentimento (2011)


selection in Murat Nemet-Nejat, ed. Eda: An Anthology of Contemporary Turkish Poetry (Jersey City, New Jersey: Talisman Press, 2004); Rosestrikes and Coffee Grinds, trans. by Murat Nemet-Nejat (Greenfield, Massachusetts: Talisman Press, 2010)

To read another poem published on Words without Borders, click here:

For three poems in the original Turkish, click below:


Magpie in my larynx,
marten in my heart...
females jump

i jump
right & left,

but now I'm hoarse.
Rosedusts escaped to my throat.
A thorn pricked my heel...
At my most delicate spot

Magpie in my larynx,
marten in my throat...

I looked at the moon, hit at the heel
This pain has no relief.
No one likes the moonstruck...

if it's getting light.
That is, if it's getting light.

Now my larynx a magpie,
marten my throat,

rose petals pricked my veins.

While the marten's squinting
petals swim in my blood.

The marten's pumping blood to its thighs,
to my eyes.

And my heartflesh dray like rose.

It's beautiful rose.

—Translated from the Turkish by Murat Nemet-Nejat
(from Gül ve Telve, 1997)


Fortune rains on salt marshes,

This is the condition of the rose. we sit up,
leaving behind coffee cups
to their own.

Leave tea leaves to their rose formation.

Through reeds the marshes refract fractions of the moon.

—Translated from the Turkish by Murat Nemet-Nejat
(from Gül ve Telve, 1997)


Last night the rose passed,
passed into itself.
I passed myself,
passing out.
Angels laughed at me
and passed.
it seems the devil
made a pass.
Rose petals passing
round my belly,
I freeze into its
Aching nu cle ar pain!
The fire having fooled me,
hitting on me,
is fueling me.
A shiver!
The devil's passed.
But you, my love!
What about you?
Lighting a rose's fire again,
you lit me up again.

—Translated from the Turkish by Murat Nemet-Nejat

(from Gül ve Telve, 1997)

English language copyright ©2010 by Murat Nemet-Nejat. Reprinted from Seyhan Erözçelik. Rosestrikes and Coffee Grinds (Greenfield, Massachusetts: Talisman Press, 2010).

No comments: