Aberystwyth listens two great Turkish poets in translation

This month I have been performing the work of two great modern Turkish poets, Haydar Ergülen and Küçük İskender at several different venues in Aberystwyth, Mid Wales.

Haydar Ergülen’s work is multi-layered, deeply moving poetry with a grounding in Sufi teaching.  When I worked on his poetry for two whole weeks during the CWTTL Cunda Workshop for Translators of Turkish Literature in September 2013 I found myself inspired (read: required/could not avoid) to write poems and his poetry also made me experience deeply memorable dreams of apparent simplicity but lasting effect.  The poet limits himself to certain sets of words such as ‘green’, signifying love, and the repetition of certain words along with the rolling rhythm of the stanza lines lulls the reader into a transcendental state.  The poet values ‘childlikeness’ as a great asset in adults and his poems sing with joyful simplicity whilst reverberating on a much deeper level and leaving your mind with a gift once you have read his work.

Here is a link to ‘Where do your eyes come from?’ by Haydar Ergülen.  Please take the time to enjoy this beautiful poem…


Here is too a link to the Aberystwyth Arts Centre’s ‘Chinwag’ spoken word event where the poem is reviewed by Michael Dante.


The poetry of Küçük İskender in contrast is electrifying, gripping and hits you head-on.  Derman Över (aka Küçük İskender) has just published ‘Ali’, his 23rd book of poetry (!), he is also a playwright, essayist and runs poetry performance competitions and events in Beyoğlu, Istanbul.  I love performing his poem ‘Abi’ which is a dark tale of a bored young man’s obsession with the guy in the opposite apartment.

Here is a link to his poem ‘Abi’. https://estoniacordfrock.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/abi-kucuk-iskender/

Abi was last performed at the closing night of the Cardboard Collective, a group showcasing mid Wales’ wealth of artistic and musical talent.  This is a link to their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/cardboardcollective?ref=ts&fref=ts


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