October 21st, 2010

poetry, exceptindreams

995: I am Listening to Istanbul

"I am Listening to Istanbul"
Orhan Veli Kanik

I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed:
At first there is a gentle breeze
And the leaves on the trees
Softly sway;
Out there, far away,
The bells of water-carriers unceasingly ring;
I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed;
Then suddenly birds fly by,
Flocks of birds, high up, with a hue and cry,
While the nets are drawn in the fishing grounds
And a woman's feet begin to dabble in the water.
I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.
The Grand Bazaar's serene and cool,
An uproar at the hub of the Market,
Mosque yards are full of pigeons.
While hammers bang and clang at the docks
Spring winds bear the smell of sweat;
I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed;
Still giddy from the revelries of the past,
A seaside mansion with dingy boathouses is fast asleep.
Amid the din and drone of southern winds, reposed,
I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.
A pretty girl walks by on the sidewalk:
Four-letter words, whistles and songs, rude remarks;
Something falls out of her hand -
It is a rose, I guess.
I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.
A bird flutters round your skirt;
On your brow, is there sweet? Or not? I know.
Are your lips wet? Or not? I know.
A silver moon rises beyond the pine trees:
I can sense it all in your heart's throbbing.
I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

translated from the original Turkish

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poetry, exceptindreams

996: The Poet's Final Instructions

"The Poet's Final Instructions"
John Berryman

Dog-tired, suisired, will now my body down
near Cedar Avenue in Minneap,
when my crime comes. I am blazing with hope.
Do me glory, come the whole way across town.

I couldn't rest from hell just anywhere,
in commonplaces. Choiring and strange my pall!
I might not lie still in the waste of St. Paul
or buy DAD's root beer; good signs I forgive.

Drop here, with honour due, my trunk and brain
among the passioning of my countrymen
unable to read, rich, proud of their tags
and proud of me. Assemble all my bags!
Bury me in a hole, and give a cheer,
near Cedar on Lake Street, where the used cars live.




The first week of only poems suggested by readers is coming to a close. If you want to send in suggestions for next week (or just in general), please email me at exceptindreamsATgmailDOTcom. Thanks.