Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Poems by Gökçenur Ç

Jul 30, 2021 | Poetry | 0 comments

Translated from the Turkish by  Neil P. Doherty
He believed the voice that in his dream told him “I will sell you Shakespeare’s memory”

1.The only colour he could see was yellow, he always wore yellow ties.
2. He believed the voice that in his dream told him “I will sell you Shakespeare’s memory”
3. Among the things he liked The Saga of Njal, Kipling and the poems of Heine; among those he did not: Stendhal, Zweig, Maupassant and Lovecraft…
4. Language can only imitate wisdom he had his assıstant once write.
5. When speaking in a lesson of the fire in the library of Alexandria, he said words are finite.
Literary styles too. And so if one book should perish, someone else will write it again one day.
6. That much immortality will have to suffice for everyone.
7. Walking sticks, small change, key rings (…) they will never know how we leave.


Now you need to get used to the crows looking and laughing at your backside as you make love

1. I reached the sea shore; I saw my land was finite.
2. So many partings, so many reunions, you carry tulip bulbs of fire in your breast.
3. Your writings will be read; your name will not be forgotten even as you try to forget the name of everything.
4. Said the fortune teller, I said everyone can see the future but not before it is too late.
5. How many trees left to the shore before a river knows it will spill into the sea.
6. Do not ask my name, if I groan out the name of another while coming do not be offended
7. Now you need to get used to the crows looking and laughing at your backside as you make love


My books were all finished, I was reading whatever I found

1.I read each of the books, they all spoke of how time was synonymous with the rain.
2.You who exist in writing, how you shifted shape in the world.
3.The world could have been quantified, by night I read, by day I walked.
4.Retracting clouds, the blooming sea and the salty trace of the waves on the shore.
5.My books were all finished; I was reading whatever I found.
6.Time is eternal, though it might cease,
The world wishes to be explained, is how they all concluded.
7.I can guess the end of this book too.
you will undo your clips, loosen your tresses and birds will take flight from your hair


Translated from the Turkish by Gökçenur Ç & Neil P. Doherty
Silently The Night Bursts

A cloud melds into the dark
A horse mounts the rain
A bank puts up its shutters
As I change the words of the song
A mountain mumbles in its sleep
A wolf runs along the train line
A water meter bursts
Jasmines madden the more you smile
So this song becomes your name
So once more we understand
You’re a wolf howling at the rains
And I, a horse racing ghost trains
Offices, houses all too troubled for us
We burst, silently the night bursts


Gökçenur Ç.  was born in Istanbul in 1971 and spent his childhood in a number of cities across Anatolia. To date he has published six books of his own poetry and many more of translations of world poetry. He writes an intensely lyrical poetry shot through with startling imagery and oblique observations of daily life. He has been deeply involved in translation both into and out of Turkish; he was on the editorial board of Ç.N. (Translator′s Note), a magazine dedicated to poetry in translation. In addition, he was a director of Word Express, an international poetry translation project organized by Literature Across Frontiers. He was also on the publishing board of the literary magazine Çevrimdışı İstanbul (Istanbul Offline). A selection of his poetry in English translation, under the title ‘The Encyclopedia of Forgotten Things’, is due from Paperwall Publishing in India very soon.

Neil P. Doherty is a translator born in Dublin, Ireland in 1972 who has resided in Istanbul since 1995. He currently teaches in Bilgi University. He is a freelance translator of both Turkish and Irish poetry. In 2017 he edited Turkish Poetry Today, which was published in the U.K by Red Hand Books. His translations have appeared in Poetry Wales, The Dreaming Machine, The Honest Ulsterman, Turkish Poetry Today, Arter (İstanbul), Advaitam Speaks, The Seattle Star, The Enchanting Verses and The Berlin Quarterly.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ongoing Event

Ongoing Event

Upcoming Books

Ongoing Events

Antonym Bookshelf

You have Successfully Subscribed!