Bread and Stars
Bread is in my lap,Stars are far, far away.I am eating bread looking at the stars.I am so engrossed, don’t even ask—Sometimes I get mixed up and instead of breadI eat stars.
Copyright © 2017 by Oktay Rifat
Translation copyright © 2017 by Sidney Wade and Efe Murad
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission
Born in Trabzon, Turkey, Oktay Rifat (1914–1988) published more than fifteen volumes of poetry, prose, and plays. He was a founding member of the Garip Movement—a small group of poets who promoted the use of simple language in a radical break from the elevated rhetoric of the classical Ottoman poets. Their revolutionary poetry manifesto, Garip, appeared in Turkish in 1941.
Sidney Wade’s seventh collection of poems, Bird Book, is forthcoming from Atelier26 Books in 2017. She has served as President of AWP and Secretary/Treasurer of ALTA and taught workshops in Poetry and Translation at the University of Florida’s MFA@FLA program for 23 years. Her translation with Efe Murad of selected poems of Melih Cevdet Anday won the Meral Divitci Prize and has just been published by Talisman House.
Efe Murad studied philosophy at Princeton and is working towards his Ph.D. in Ottoman History and Arabic Philosophy and Theology at Harvard. He has published five books of poetry and five books of translations from the Iranian poets M. Azad and Fereydoon-e Moshiri and from the American poets C.K. Williams, Susan Howe and Lyn Hejinian in Turkish. Together with Sidney Wade, he prepared a selection from the œuvre of Turkish poet Melih Cevdet Anday (Talisman Press, 2017). His poems, writings and translations in English have appeared in a wide range of journals such as Guernica, Jacket, Five Points and The American Reader, and exhibitions including the 13th Istanbul Biennial. He is currently working on the complete Turkish translation of Ezra Pound’s Cantos.