PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
PN Review Prize winners announced
Carcanet Press and PN Review are delighted to announce the winners of the first ever PN Review Prize. read more
Most Read... Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing
‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing

(PN Review 236)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
Kate BinghamPuddle
(PN Review 236)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue CELEBRATING JOHN ASHBERY Contributors include Mark Ford, Marina Warner, Jeremy Over, Theophilus Kwek, Sam Riviere, Luke Kennard, Philip Terry,Agnes Lehoczky, Emily Critchley, Oli Hazard and others Miles Champion The Gold Standard Rebecca Watts The Cult of the Noble Amateur Marina Tsvetaeva ‘My desire has the features of a woman’: Two Letters translated by Christopher Whyte Iain Bamforth Black and White

This poem is taken from PN Review 109, Volume 22 Number 5, May - June 1996.

Three Poems (translated from Turkish by Christopher Middleton) Oktay Rifat

Translated by Christopher Middleton
Oktay Rifat, 1914-88, was first associated in 1941 with Orhan Veli and the 'Garip' group of younger poets in Istanbul. Rejecting the stereotypically florid rhetoric burdening Turkish poems at the time, they favoured a light touch, a lyricism direct and tenzperate, self-irony and worldly wit: they were the first Turkish 'lnodemists' ('garip' means 'strange'). Rifat's middle and later work, no less fantastic, vigorous, and varied than that of his Greek contemporary Yannis Ritsos, with whom he is still compared, includes serene and luminous pastorals, as well as poems for and about children. The six texts here translated come from three of his books: Yaşayip Ölmek Aşk, Çobanil Şiirler, and Aşik Merdeveni. For other translations, see Ruth Christie and Richard McKane, Voices of Memory: Selected Poems of Oktay Rifat (Rockingham Press, 1993).


In a Boat
That sky, that sea, captain, look at them,
Heavens above, the water must be like a woman,
Manika herself bestows no such blessing as this,
You could forgive a man for murder because of it.
Islands to the right, fish trap to the left of us,
I was rowing, Mehmet facing me,
Blue must have gone to my head.
Mehmet, I said, now for it,
Set the fuse, in with the dynamite,
Blast them up, the black-eyes, bream, the mackerel.

A day like this, I'll not forget it,
On the island, Christ's Hill,
Sea before me smooth as a dinner plate,
Sedef, Medef, Maden Islands,
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image