The Poetry of Muhsin Ilyas Subaşı

One-on-one short questions to Muhsin Ilyas Subaşi


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-an article from Sanatalemi Magazine, September 2010 


Q: What are the novels and who are the writers that have influenced you the most?

A: It is very difficult for me to focus on one particular preference in this domain. The pleasure that you take from reading a novel differs depending on the current environment, conditions and the theme of the novel. You may have completely forgotten about a novel that entralled you when you read it years ago. Therefore, it is best to take a broader view without making specific distinctions.
If I may make one confession concerning our novelists, I would have to say that I do not care much for the novelists of the first generation who set out to impose a certain ideology. There have been many quality novels written recently by our writers, and I like all of them.


Q: What poem and poet are the most unforgettable in your eyes? 

A: If I were to say the say the “Sakarya Turkusu” of Necip Fazil, would all the other poets be offended?


Q: What is the film that you have appreciated the most?

 A: I do not watch many movies, for I do not have a weakness for them. I did enjoy “Küçük Ağa” and films about the creation of the Turkish Republic.


Q: What is the folk song that you never tire of hearing?

 A: I love to listen to “Bu gece yâr hanesinde, yatağım bir taş idi” (Tonight in the house of my beloved, there was a rock in my bed”).


 Q: What is the book you are currently reading?

A: Katharine Branning’s “Bir Çay Daha Lütfen” (Yes, I would love another glass of tea), a marvelously beautiful work. She explains Turkey to us and reminds us of who we are. I must say that I especially like this work not only because I participated in its publication, but also because it helps us to better understand ourselves.


Q: Name a personality that you regret never having met.

 A: If I had lived during his era, I certainly would have regretted not meeting Yunus Emre.


Q: What are the newspaper columnists that you follow regularly?

 A: Instead of following a particular columnist, I read writers who show curiosity in their viewpoints towards important issues.


Q: What television or radio programs do you try never to miss?

A: I do not have much interest in them, and I cannot find the time to watch even one hour per week.


Q: What was the news event of the last year that affected you the most?

 A: The internal problems with the Army have both affected and upset me.


Q: What is your deepest fear?

 A: I fear that the future of our country will be sacrificed by selfish people looking to serve their personal interests.


Q: What do you pray for the most?

A: I pray that our country will be unified and peaceful. I pray that we can deal with the people who seek to damage this unity and peace, and for any eventual grief that may be caused by them.


Q: What is the most important piece of advice you would give to yourself and to others?

 A: To be sincere. Not to be two faced. Not to expect rewards in return for showing generosity and love.








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