The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Fiction from Mexico City

1 Poem Published

 By Gonca Özmen, Turkey (Published in Issue 15)

 

Elleriniz Vardı Barbar

Şuramda dudaklarınızı bıraktıydınız

Uzaklığınızı şuramda

 

Onca su zambağı

Onca taşlık yol

Onca siyah kuğu arasında

Bildim bir yokluktu yeryüzü

 

Onca çam ormanı

Onca yenik patika

Onca sahipsiz yeşil arasında

Gördüm ötesi var akşamın

Gövdenin gizli bir sesi

 

Şuramda bir ölünün yükü

Kirli bir çiçek bıraktıydınız

Tenimdeki çocuğun kederi için

 

Allahın taş damında sevişirdik

Islaktınız ve elleriniz vardı barbar 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Mehmet Erte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Your Hands Were Barbaric

 

Just here you set your lips

Just here, your coolness,

 

So many water lilies

So many cobbled streets

Amid so many black swans

I knew the earth as absence

 

So many pine forests

So many broken paths

Amid so great an unpossessed green

I saw another side to evening

A secret voice of the body

 

Just here, the weight of the dead

You left a dirty flower

For the grief of a child on my skin

 

We made love on God’s stone roof

You were wet and your hands were barbaric

 

                                  Translated by George Messo

 --

 

GONCA ÖZMEN was born in Burdur (southern Turkey) in 1982. She was graduated from English Language and Literature Department of Istanbul University in 2004. She took her M. A. degree in 2008 and now she is a PH. D. student at the same department.

Her first poem was published in 1997 when she was fifteen years old. She was rewarded as ‘worth paying attention poet’ in Yaşar Nabi Nayır Youth Prizes in the same year. She was awarded with Ali Rıza Ertan Poetry Prize in 1999.

 Her first poetry book Kuytumda (In My Nook) was published in 2000. This book was awarded with Orhan Murat Arıburnu Poetry Prize. She won Berna Moran Poetry Prize which is given by Istanbul University in 2003. She was also rewarded by one of her essays on a Turkish poet, Edip Cansever in 2005 Homeros Criticism Prizes. Her second book Belki Sessiz (Maybe Quiet) was published in February 2008.  

 She has been writing in several literature magazines since 1997. She is setting up a magazine of literary translation called Ç.N. (Çevirmenin Notu) with her friends.

 Apart from Turkey, she participated in the international poetry readings in Heidelberg, Hamburg, Berlin, Paris and Slovenia. Her poems are translated into Spanish, French, English, German, Slovenian and Persian.

 The Sea Within (Selected Poems, translated by George Messo) is published by Shearsman Books in February 2011.

 She has been living in Istanbul since 2000.