Translation: Two poems by Nilgün Marmara




Come back life

With a gentle glide,

Don’t let the dark birds

perched on the earth raft

Cover my gaze,

Let the window captive’s

pain of seeing persist,

Let her life

Fall into water…




Everything is of absent value,

Here, on this desert shore,

Pain is our hunter:

Its methodic insistence

and its bag

full of our clots.

The elbow always in deficit,

In the hand of fleeting satiety.

Joy is a fugitive to us, its

Perpetual ambivalence

and its remoteness

Multiplying with our desires.



Nilgün Marmara (Istanbul, 1958-1987) wrote poems in Turkish that she characterized as 'ante-mortem melodies of the swans.' Her posthumously published books include Daktiloya Çekilmiş Şiirler [Typewritten Poems], Sylvia Plath'ın Şairliğinin İntiharı Bağlamında Analizi [An Analysis of Sylvia Plath’s Poetry in the Context of her Suicide], Metinler [Texts], Defterler [Notebooks], and Kağıtlar [Pages].


Dedicated to those who were killed in Gaza and all who work for a free Palestine.





For the readers living in Amsterdam: 

Reading Vigil For A Free Palestine!

Every day, we – a group of Amsterdam-based artists, cultural workers and others – will stand in Dam Square in Amsterdam and read out loud from books, articles, memoirs, testimonies, poems on Palestine until ceasefire. The action will happen daily from 12:30-13:30, in groups of four (shifts of 15 minutes each) or more people. The readings will be recorded by another one of us for broadcast on online radio station Radio Alhara. We began with Rashid Khalidi’s book “The Hundred Years' War on Palestine”.

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