Efe Duyan, Turkey

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    Efe Duyan, Turkey Member of Iwabogdani 

    Poet, architect (b. 1981, İstanbul, Turkey).

    He has been invited to several workshops, poetry readings and international organizations including Kopenhagen Turkish Poetry Evenings, Word-Express Project (series of poetry readings in several Balkan Countries), Edinburgh Book Festival, London Book Fair, Berlin Poetry Festival, Lodeve Poetry Festival, Riga Poetry Days, Malta İnizjamed Poetry Festival, Transylvania Poetry Poetry Festival, Palabra En El Mundo in Venice, Sofia Poetics Festival, Chisinau Poetry Festival, Enemies Project & European Poetry Night in Britain, Shaar Poetry Festival in Israel, Sidi Bou Said Poetry Festivalin Tunisia, Venice Dropping Seeds Project, European Poetry Biennale in Brasov, Swiss PEN’s Day of Writers in Prison Meeting in Geneva, and Goran’s Spring Festival in Croatia.

    Some of his poems have been translated into Bosnian, Czech, Chinese, Croatian, Danish, English, Estonian, French, Greek, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Kurdish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Rumanian, Macedonian, Maltese, Occitan, Slovenian, Ukrainian and Welsh.

    His translation works in poetry includes poetry collections of Radu Vancu (Romania), Matthias Göritz (Germany) and Llyod Schwartz (USA).

    He worked in the editorial committes of literature magazinesNikbinlik (2000-2005) and Sanat Cephesi (2006-2010). He co-organized poetry translation workshops with British, French, Italian, Israeli, Bulgarian, German, Swedish, Dutch, Japanespoets and the Offline Istanbul Poetry Festival.

    His critical essay “The Construction of Characters in Nâzım Hikmet’s Poetry” has been published in 2008. He edited a comtemporary poetry anthology “Bir Benden Bir O’ndan” (2010) and is a member of the editorial board of the acclaimed literature magazine Offline Istanbul.

    His poetry collections are  “Sıkça Sorulan Sorular” (Frequently Asked Questions, 2016), “Tek Şiirlik Aşklar” (One Poem Stands, 2012) and “Takas” (Swap, 2006).

    He is currently teaching history of architecture at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University.

    SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE REVOLUTIONS

    revolutions too

    like grand plans

    can’t be plotted in great detail

     

    like punctual trains

    offer peace

    and never look back once set off

     

    like suicide

    on every occasion

    forge a connection between us that I can’t name

     

    like close friends

    are also useful in covering our own defects

     

    like babies screaming in joy

    never tire

     

    like me

    they – in truth – don’t like crowds

     

    like all of us

    it is a lie that they wish the best for everyone

     

    like all gods

    they are sure they are capable of creating the world in a few days

     

    like the relationships

    you suddenly find yourself a slave to

     

    like women

    you can only suppose you understand them

     

    like a lover

    they can only let you down

     

    like a platonic love

    they are beautiful after all

    translated by James Vella


    MEHMET AND OSMAN

    FROM CEVIZLI CIGARETTE FACTORY

    mehmet grew another hectic mehmet

    when he became a father

     

    mehmet already owned another shy mehmet

    when he got married

     

    he also contracted a sceptical mehmet

    urged by necessity

     

    all the mehmets were in fine fettle

    next to him stood osman who had many osmans

    that mehmet didn’t know

     

    was there a self-sacrificing mehmet?

    – mehmet wasn’t sure –

    but when a gun was pointed at his group of friends

    he didn’t hesitate

    secret osman of osman with his police ID in his pocket

    held the hand of a tobacco worker for the first time

    the dead mehmet of mehmet

     

    with sorrow for his widow’s loss of her mehmet

    stubborn mehmet walked up to taksim square

    he tore up his last regrets

    when osman submitted his letter of resignation

     

    it was beautiful to be obstinate in the face of death

    even after having died

    translated by Richard Gywn


    THE STRUCTURE OF THE EYE

    my eyes

    bestow names

    on the stains on your skin

    like ancient astronomers

    attent to all they might resemble

    and bow down in respect

    before every change of colour

    in your limbs

    with their lashes

    they suck the sweat off your back

    and try to stuff it into a bottle

    to add it to the whites of their own

    then dive down

    into yours

    and swim through

    the beams of light

    seeping in

    to your cornea

    and record what you have seen

    to reflect it all

    on a screen up on the wall

    and go

    to kiss you

    there on your

    blind spot

    translated Neil P. Doherty

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