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Yahya Kemal Beyali, 'Silent Ship'

Yahya Kemal Beyali (1884-1958), 'Silent Ship'

(translated from the Turkish by Nergis Ismet and A.M. Levinson-LaBrosse)


When it is time to take anchor from time,
A ship departs from this harbor to nowhere.

As though it has no passenger, silently it begins its trip:
Neither a handkerchief nor an arm moves while it departs.

The ones left at wharf are sorrowful because of this trip,
For days, they look to the black horizon with tears in their eyes.

Poor hearts, this is neither the last departed ship,
Nor bitter life’s last mourning.

On the earth, the loved and the lover wait in vain,
Unaware that the lover and the loved won’t return.

It seems that many of those gone are pleased with their places:
Many years have passed; no one has returned from his trip.

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