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Feb 2020
Ben Sana Mecburum (“You Are Indispensable”)
by Attila Ilhan
translation/interpretation by Nurgül Yayman and Michael R. Burch

You are indispensable; how can you not know
that you’re like nails riveting my brain?
I see your eyes as ever-expanding dimensions.
You are indispensable; how can you not know
that I burn within, at the thought of you?

Trees prepare themselves for autumn;
can this city be our lost Istanbul?
Now clouds disintegrate in the darkness
as the street lights flicker
and the streets reek with rain.
You are indispensable, and yet you are absent ...

Love sometimes seems akin to terror:
a man tires suddenly at nightfall,
of living enslaved to the razor at his neck.
Sometimes he wrings his hands,
expunging other lives from his existence.
Sometimes whichever door he knocks
echoes back only heartache.

A screechy phonograph is playing in Fatih ...
a song about some Friday long ago.
I stop to listen from a vacant corner,
longing to bring you an untouched sky,
but time disintegrates in my hands.
Whatever I do, wherever I go,
you are indispensable, and yet you are absent ...

Are you the blue child of June?
Ah, no one knows you—no one knows!
Your deserted eyes are like distant freighters ...
perhaps you are boarding in Yesilköy?
Are you drenched there, shivering with the rain
that leaves you blind, beset, broken,
with wind-disheveled hair?

Whenever I think of life
seated at the wolves’ table,
shameless, yet without soiling our hands ...
Yes, whenever I think of life,
I begin with your name, defying the silence,
and your secret tides surge within me
making this voyage inevitable.
You are indispensable; how can you not know?

***

Original text:

Ben sana mecburum bilemezsin
Adini mih gibi aklimda tutuyorum
Büyüdükçe büyüyor gözlerin
Ben sana mecburum bilemezsin
Içimi seninle isitiyorum.
Agaçlar sonbahara hazirlaniyor
Bu sehir o eski Istanbul mudur
Karanlikta bulutlar parçalaniyor
Sokak lambalari birden yaniyor
Kaldirimlarda yagmur kokusu
Ben sana mecburum sen yoksun.

Sevmek kimi zaman rezilce korkuludur
Insan bir aksam üstü ansizin yorulur
Tutsak ustura agzinda yasamaktan
Kimi zaman ellerini kirar tutkusu
Bir kaç hayat çikarir yasamasindan
Hangi kapiyi çalsa kimi zaman
Arkasinda yalnizligin hinzir ugultusu

Fatih'te yoksul bir gramofon çaliyor
Eski zamanlardan bir cuma çaliyor
Durup köse basinda deliksiz dinlesem
Sana kullanilmamis bir gök getirsem
Haftalar ellerimde ufalaniyor
Ne yapsam  ne tutsam nereye gitsem
Ben sana mecburum sen yoksun.

Belki haziran  da mavi benekli çocuksun
Ah seni bilmiyor kimseler bilmiyor
Bir silep siziyor issiz gözlerinden
Belki Yesilköy'de uçaga biniyorsun
Bütün islanmissin tüylerin ürperiyor
Belki körsün kirilmissin telas içindesin
Kötü rüzgar saçlarini götürüyor

Ne vakit bir yasamak düsünsem
Bu kurtlar sofrasinda belki zor
Ayipsiz   fakat ellerimizi kirletmeden
Ne vakit bir yasamak düsünsem
Sus deyip adinla basliyorum
Içim sira kimildiyor gizli denizlerin
Hayir baska türlü olmayacak
Ben sana mecburum bilemezsin.

Keywords/Tags: Turkey, Turkish, Attila Ilhan, modern English translation
Written by
Michael R Burch  62/M/Nashville, Tennessee
(62/M/Nashville, Tennessee)   
359
       DivineDao
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