By Ayesha Malik
Each action and each word
Becomes a shining sword
Hanging over my dry throat
False expectations encroach
Entangle my forlorn approach
Each effort is a vain stroke
A lunge in the looming dark
Coming back to embark
I apprehend that the coming day
Will bring another dagger my way
Or, rather, I stay and try to change
My stance, my game in exchange
For a kind word and a smile in vain
Hoping to be included in the laughter
Candour of a loving and candid chatter
By Nazish Sabir
And the naughty touch of wind
Strands of hair
Whispering into the ears
Kinda cute thing
With a fine show
Lightening up the sky
Turning the wandering souls
Into a joyful mood
As the limelight of the
Starry night replaced the bright curtains and winked Across the sky
By Faruk Nafiz ÇAMLIBEL
Whinnied the dark horses; cracked the leather whip in air,
The wagon paused in its tracks for a moment.
For a long while rattled the springboard beneath me.
Caravanserais one after another passed in front my eyes…
With a heavy and homesick heart, I was on my way,
Along the Uluki la road heading into Central Anatolia.
Like a first love, a first hurt, a first separation!
The air was warmed by the fire burning in my heart,
Yellow sky, yellow land, yellow bare trees...
O! These ancient roads which connect villages to frontiers,
Ancient roads grieving for those who will never return home!
O! These han walls writ with such mournful lines
O! These han walls which wring my heart!...
‘Han’ means inn in Turkish. ‘Han Walls’ is one of the most beloved poems of Turkish literature. It was published in 1925 in the Turkish literary magazine, Türk Yurdu. The 104-line poem was written in 1923, the very same year as the birth of the Turkish Republic.
Translated from Turkish by Katharine Branning
Compiled by SK