Like I said last time out, every composition session is different. whereas last time I got two poems in one day, this weekend I got one poem over three days. It is called ‘Knowingly Willingly,’ & is the creation of a Turkish poet, Gonca Ozman, who quite unlike the majority of the Divan poets is actually younger than me – I’m 1976, she’s 1982. Anyway, without further ado, lets see my transcreation, based on the translation out of the Turkish by Maureen Freely & Ozge Calli Spike, & poeticized by Jo Shapcott. Mt transcraeyion has taken some effort, as the irregular-length couplets were difficult to formalize in regular quatrains, but the beast was eventually tamed!
GONCA OZMEN: Knowingly Willingly
Insane the shadows that I taste
& speak to, tho’ I promis’d not;
Love keep me from my home displac’d,
Especially its nights boycott!
Come & empty out my bottom
Drawer, the garden incinerate,
& then, just like the hick I am,
Fling me outside, without debate.
Your halls ancestral snow-tall climb,
As each into each other coils,
& into you, & into time,
Why stand so awkward with your spoils?
Forgive me love this very night,
Night most of all, when comes dusk’s shroud
To turn things dark, let me alight
Once more the dance-floor, blend with crowd.
My body is a gun, by flags
Of sorrow made, & aim’d at thee,
Tho’ trapp’d in your unwelcome snags
Tis naught to what once made me flee.
Love! Rescue! Save me! Hear my song,
Untether unpleasant morning,
Save me from both those tables long
& elegance rooms adorning.
Into the poison Marsh of Death,
You could take a swim most eely,
But you’d dive, in an instant’s breath,
Back into those morning’s freely.
When rose your mother’s fine cheekbone
Approving stomach’s rumbling,
My tights were full of holes, alone,
I pass through your breakfast stumbling!
Love, to me listen, most of all
At night, when moondust lingers long,
When I can trust soft words to fall
Like wine draughts crooning on the tongue!
Unlike my voice each prickly thread,
Love lay me down within the night,
Destitute-distill’d your wine-bed,
Poverty-fed, is pour’d from fright.
Go to the garden, love, & tell,
The Jasmines & the Freesias,
About myself, night comes to dwell,
Absolve me to the Dervishes.
Love see a world in me, a grape
Peel’d delicately heavenly,
Let not outside your mind escape
Where spools spinning machinery.
Forget the pain that I maintain,
Pressing upon you, unallay’d,
Yes, let it rest, forget the pain,
Into the distance let it fade.
Go catch an apple & a burst
of street-jive, then a catcall clear,
A stream of conscience unrehears’d,
Exploding laughter in your ear.
You’ve ran like water thro’ my voice,
& what you drop don’t pockets blame,
More dust than one long-untouch’d vase
I’ve gathered, while I play your game.
In buttons undone there’s meaning,
Words slay their targets, well you know,
Love look at me, in me leaning,
You touch me but left long ago.
Even waters have no spare time
To flow with me, nobody cares,
To halt night’s sordid paradigm,
Allowing morning’s gloryglares.
THE STORY OF THE NEW DIVAN