The Poetry of Muhsin Ilyas Subaşı

The Challenge of Fatherly Love 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother dear, did father used to take me by the hand?

Did he used to love me?

Love is often forbidden to fathers

Perhaps it was awkward to show love to his child

Traditions bound up his emotions

He would wash off his sweat with the aroma of his children

I know you carried me in your womb; he carried me on his back

He went hungry, but he never let us go hungry

My father wore himself out for us

Our pride prevented us from looking after him

For some reason it was always to you we wrote our poems

It was when we became fathers that we understood our father

Work, spouse and earning a living are the tasks of the father

Mother, you had only to give us your love

His worries were bigger than his love

He could never say right out to me “I love you”

Yet he took pleasure when he stole glances at my face

He spent his life for us, not for his own delight

He was ground down by the strife of life

For that he is as sacred as a plane tree

I kissed his hands, I kissed his cheeks

Today I laid his head under a grave stone

Every day now my father’s fate draws its line for me

I wonder if I will be able to win this challenge of love

For which he struggled his whole live to give?

This fight is as precious as bread, as holy as love

Its horses pull us ahead from the past to the future

This challenge is the real name of existence

It flies us to victory on its wings

 

Translated by Hakan Pekel and Katharine Branning

 

 

BABALARIN SEVGİ SAVAŞI

 

Babam tutar mıydı ellerimden anne,

Babam da sever miydi beni?

Onlarda sevgi mahremdi;

Sevmek ayıptı belki de yavrusunu.

Gelenek bağlamıştı duygularını,

Teriyle yıkardı çocuklarının kokusunu

Sen karnında, o sırtında taşıdı bilirim,

Aç kaldı, ama aç koymadı.

Babam bizim için koşuşturdu yollarda,

Bizim için hayatına doymadı.

Engelledi kibrimiz babamıza bakmayı,

Nedense hep anne için şiirler yazdık.

Baba olunca fark ettik babamızı,

İş, eş, aş sahibi olmak, babaya verilen yüktü.

Anne sevgisini verdi sadece,

Babanın derdi sevgiden de büyüktü.

Bana “Seni seviyorum”, diyemedi bir türlü,

Yüzüme gizlice bakarak yaşadı zevkini.

Bir ömrü keyfine değil, bizlere adadı,

Kendini hayat çarkında öğüttü

Bunun içindir ki kutsal bir çınardır adı.

Öptüm ellerini, öptüm yanaklarını,

Bugün ellerimle koydum taş yastığa başını.

Zaman beni de babamın çizgisine çekiyor her gün,

Ben de kazanabilir miyim acaba,

Uğruna ömrünü verdiği bu sevgi savaşını?

Bu savaş, ekmek kadar aziz, aşk kadar kutsaldır,

Bizi dünden alıp yarına taşır atlarıyla

Bu savaş, var olmanın gerçek adıdır,

Bizi bize kazandırır kanatlarıyla…

 

 

 

 

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