Skip to main content
Outdated Browser

For the best experience using our website, we recommend upgrading your browser to a newer version or switching to a supported browser.

More Information

Poetry

House of the Edge

Translated from Turkish
Retreat to places that smell of soapGo to wet balconiesWrap your hands in cool, damp gauzeScrub your flesh stark whitePurify your tongue and all you've seenGather your illuminated words onto snow white paperRetreat from the war zone, you can't manage,The deaths in this zone are contagiousFull of crumpling and scuffling maggots,I say flesh has gone wormy-What difference does it makeIf it's yours or someone else's!*In midafternoon, wander around rooms, plunge into the sun's dustLook at people passing by a catListen to voicesLend an ear to the universe and beyondThe voice is in the spine's hissing, humming flute, blow!Collect it, collect it within yourselfLet the crowds be distractedBy the war zone's daily newsRecord their voices,This way, one day, someoneWill understand that they, just like you, are existed,That if one is to stop at the edge of hellThis is the only way to stop*They'll understandThat one mustn't come too close to any hellWhether it be inside, or outside with the crowdsFor, what wholly burns will never burn againIt won't flame up, no light will leave itA person must always burn as if he'll burn againThe place to stop is neither inside nor outside hell,But in the place where Inside and Outside resound simultaneously:At the edge between Inside and Outside.No voice resounds InsideThe voice that resounds Outside is inaudible*None of the voices in this zoneWill outlast time.All things fall into the time in which they materializeAnd, just as a sand dune swallows a skeleton,Voices will be swallowed by their own timeAll that will remain of you, of your going, of yourcoming, of your retreat upon failing, of your indecision,of your diving into daydreams, of your being cursedand torn apart, of your returning to reconsolidate, is awithered story and a wisp of hair.Think about it,Your hair will outlive your voice.When the ink on these pages has decayed,This crowWill fly once again from that sea's withered bed*Now, fling your hand into the air-In the invisible cleft that opensWhen the ripples from your hand dwindle and disappearWhat will remain of you-maybe-is a plump bug.*If your abridged story is told, a breath will leavea mouth. That story's breath, too, dwindling,disappearing, will reach the next planet. Even if thisplanet doesn't, the next will inhale what's left of your breath.One mid-afternoon, one child having cookies and teawill misread-who knows, maybe-one of yoursentences. Your name will be remembered for thatwrong sentence. Who knows, maybe that sentence willbe more beautiful than yours. A redheaded boy youcan't picture now will understand you.*Meanwhile, that crowWill leave this sea's withered bedAnd, with this present hair of yours attached to her foot,Fly toward another planetWithout expecting to reach it, but striving nonethelessDon't forget, what wholly burns will never burn again!A person must always burn as if they'll blaze againNow stop, that's enoughStop at this edgeWho knows, maybe one day you'll embark once moreOn a journey you can't yet know

For "Seven Aches," please click here.

English
Retreat to places that smell of soapGo to wet balconiesWrap your hands in cool, damp gauzeScrub your flesh stark whitePurify your tongue and all you've seenGather your illuminated words onto snow white paperRetreat from the war zone, you can't manage,The deaths in this zone are contagiousFull of crumpling and scuffling maggots,I say flesh has gone wormy-What difference does it makeIf it's yours or someone else's!*In midafternoon, wander around rooms, plunge into the sun's dustLook at people passing by a catListen to voicesLend an ear to the universe and beyondThe voice is in the spine's hissing, humming flute, blow!Collect it, collect it within yourselfLet the crowds be distractedBy the war zone's daily newsRecord their voices,This way, one day, someoneWill understand that they, just like you, are existed,That if one is to stop at the edge of hellThis is the only way to stop*They'll understandThat one mustn't come too close to any hellWhether it be inside, or outside with the crowdsFor, what wholly burns will never burn againIt won't flame up, no light will leave itA person must always burn as if he'll burn againThe place to stop is neither inside nor outside hell,But in the place where Inside and Outside resound simultaneously:At the edge between Inside and Outside.No voice resounds InsideThe voice that resounds Outside is inaudible*None of the voices in this zoneWill outlast time.All things fall into the time in which they materializeAnd, just as a sand dune swallows a skeleton,Voices will be swallowed by their own timeAll that will remain of you, of your going, of yourcoming, of your retreat upon failing, of your indecision,of your diving into daydreams, of your being cursedand torn apart, of your returning to reconsolidate, is awithered story and a wisp of hair.Think about it,Your hair will outlive your voice.When the ink on these pages has decayed,This crowWill fly once again from that sea's withered bed*Now, fling your hand into the air-In the invisible cleft that opensWhen the ripples from your hand dwindle and disappearWhat will remain of you-maybe-is a plump bug.*If your abridged story is told, a breath will leavea mouth. That story's breath, too, dwindling,disappearing, will reach the next planet. Even if thisplanet doesn't, the next will inhale what's left of your breath.One mid-afternoon, one child having cookies and teawill misread-who knows, maybe-one of yoursentences. Your name will be remembered for thatwrong sentence. Who knows, maybe that sentence willbe more beautiful than yours. A redheaded boy youcan't picture now will understand you.*Meanwhile, that crowWill leave this sea's withered bedAnd, with this present hair of yours attached to her foot,Fly toward another planetWithout expecting to reach it, but striving nonethelessDon't forget, what wholly burns will never burn again!A person must always burn as if they'll blaze againNow stop, that's enoughStop at this edgeWho knows, maybe one day you'll embark once moreOn a journey you can't yet know

For "Seven Aches," please click here.