Metin Celal


Metin Celal








I lived as if setting out on a long journey

I prepared for death, gave up at midway

I clung to the seduction of harmony

questions remained unanswered


the smell of mold had long penetrated me

in manner civilized and with no personality

of those with nothing left to say

the walls sweated, humidity rotted the stone


I clung to your voice, to that mistake

I sniffed thinner, I said

my brain melted, shrank and vanished

I submitted to the rules and was rewarded


the silent tension lingering between us

disappearing when suppressed

remembered when disappearing

with the stability of the days

captured a child in its hands


ruthless as the aged and children

pointing to the mistakes I attributed to amphetamine

you simply left, saying

if you’re gonna fall

fall right into the midst of yourself



© Translated by Suat Karantay






we were going where the names fell into disuse

with everybody from now and past

if circumstances fall behind

to be able to decorate the reality


Our intimacy was noticed

a hyacinth was shooting up

in the anniversary of dead

we knew who to call


habits were curbing us

daily affairs, dealings

we had to keep quiet when we were asked

we were not allowed to speak of the life which is not ours


memories were derelict to cool down

no one could separate us even in the photographs

we were not allowed to share your happy moments

there were also troubles to tell

always there and ready to listen






thereat the word “reality” was in the news

we proffered to be serious and dignified

nobody saw us laughing

we were known by our names


thereat Turkish was spoken

we were not aware in which upcountry we are living

cliff-hangers were the dream’s land

our daughters were cross-eyed, mother at seventeen

whose life ended before saying a single phrase


thereat being religious was in vogue

dining pray always turned up at tables

payrolls were signed, at nine to five jobs

our wives never washed with sunlight

raki was drunken while listening radio


thereat we lived with the pain of attaching the life importance

he haven’t been snatched away from our identities

we were remains of war, the ones who left medical school

no one met anyone who recognizes our face

they last saw us in woman dresses



Gümüşlük 2011



© Translated by Gökçenur Ç






it was as if everything had been experienced before

we had already known those streets before even we walked on them

all the words to be said had already been written

our cold corpses were destined to be sad


little fragments of life and trivial details

included within the limits of our knowledge

but we weren’t allowed to change anything at all

this life had to be led that way


while waiting to calm down, after each and every nightmare

there was one statement that we could hold onto:

“Children who eat fire

die before they turn out twenty.”



June 1990











Metin Celal (1961, Ankara – Turkey) Poet, writer. He started his university education at the Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Petroleum Engineering (1982) and then graduated from Istanbul University, Faculty of Journalism and Public Relations (1985). His first poem was published in 1980 (Olusum). At the same time he published poems and literary critics in the well known turkish literary journals (Varlik, Gosteri, Sanat Olayi…, 1980 – ). He is among the founders of the “1980s Poetry” movement. He and poet friends from the “1980s Poetry” movement published poetry journals: Imge/Ayrim(1984), Poetika (1985), Fanatik (1989). He found a Contemporary Turkish Poetry web site ( in english and turkish (1999 – ). His poems have been translated and published in 9 languages. He worked as an editor in the publishing companies (Imge, Gunes) and literary magazines; Sombahar (Poetry, 1990 – 1996), E (Literature, 2003-), Ozgur Edebiyat (2007-13). He is the editor of the Parantez Publishing(1992 – ). He is the Coordinator of the Istanbul Poetry Festival (2008 – ).




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