Shade by Behçet Necatigil

street shadow

Shade

The stretching shade of mid-afternoon sun

Goes, stays in front of old houses

If memories have begun then evening is near

Clouds hasten above your head.

.

This flashback reminds you

Of fiery deserts you’ve crossed

You were exhausted, walking without shade

No drop of water, nor date palm tree.

.

The stretching shade of mid-afternoon sun

comes from the heat of midday you escaped

all the cool, again is

Summer, sounds of joy in street alleys.

.

It’s short, the shade of mid-afternoon sun

It will go soon, melt in the collapsing dark

Summer evenings in simple neighbourhoods

There were people sitting, you know, before their doors.

.

Safe in your elongating shadow

You don’t think of yesterday or tomorrow

We come to this world but once

I’m glad you heard!

.

Savour the essence of life, at the end

In whichever cool of congested streets

As your shadow draws back tomorrow

So you’ll be just like those before the doors..

.

Poet: B.Necatigil, from ‘Eski Toprak’

Translator: C.Stockford

Translated at the Cunda Interntional Workshop for Translators of Turkish Literature 2015

One thought on “Shade by Behçet Necatigil

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