i mixed with the streets ripped from your roots a rose bud no longer the road is shortened, one small bud with my yearnings sunk i’m a tea a little bit blood red, a lesser lover mother come wrap my sprouting shoots, pick me up tuck me into the house steep me on the window in your song’s vibrations, garnish with basil sugar me, stir with your hand make the house drink me mother i left the street i’m a frostbitten petal my sweat is tired i took my missing feelings back i’m a little bit emptiness, a full separation i’m a small roof a small portico, i’m a rose bud torn loose no longer mother come shake off my dust, tuck me like a roll in your chest raise me again with letters and lullabies, put me to sleep three days and nights lay me in life mother before your eyes spread a thick inside over me
By Nurduran Duman
Translated by Andrew Wessels
From STEPS OF ISTANBUL
by Nurduran Duman
Translated into English by Andrew Wessels & Grace Wessels
Published by Herald Publisher Proprietary (2019)
Nurduran Duman is a poet, playwright, editor and translator based in Istanbul. She is a columnist in the newspaper Cumhuriyet. Her books include Yenilgi Oyunu (2005 Cemal Sureya Poetry Award), Istanbul’la Bakışmak and Mi Bemol. Her other works include Semi Circle (2016, US), Selected Poems (2017, Macedonia), Selected Poems (2019, Belgium), and Steps of Istanbul (2019, China, Poetry Collection of the Year, 2nd Boao International Poetry Award). Her poems have been translated into Finnish, Spanish, Azerbaijan, Turkish, Bulgarian, Romanian, Slovak, French, German, Occitan, Persian, Italian. She featured in the #internationalwomensday2018 (#IWD18), Modern Poetry in Translation (MPT) list of ten international female poets in translation in 2018. She received Golden Camel Award of 2020 Silk Road International Poetry Awards. She teaches Sociological Analysis in Turkish Literature at Bahçeşehir University. She is a member of Turkish PEN.
Andrew Wessels is a poet and translator who currently lives in Los Angeles. He has lived in Istanbul, Turkey, where he taught writing at Koç University. His first book of poems, A Turkish Dictionary, was published by 1913 Press in 2017, and Semi Circle, a chapbook of translations of Nurduran Duman’s poems, is available from Goodmorning Menagerie. His poems, translations, and collaborations can be found in VOLT, Witness, Fence, Tammy Journal, Faultline, and Colorado Review, among others. He has held fellowships from Black Mountain Institute and Poets & Writers and is an editor at Les Figues Press.
Photo by Lisa Kalloo
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