Turkey’s greatest experimental poet İlhan Berk died at the age of 90.
Visiting the beloved widow of the dead poet
"Books, papers," she said, "wherever I lay
My hand. Here the beginning of an unfinished poem,
But here another that's miraculously complete.
In this poem the sky was growing pale,
And in this other one a street
Came and went;
and such was our life together."
That seemed to come from very far
Wandered in those rooms that silence had crushed.
But then she showed us a book that had stayed
Open on his desk, the last one he had thumbed:
"He was seated there, reading this book,
And then we saw it slip away from his hands.
That was all."
And that's what she said,
Concealing her face behind her hands as if
The shadow of a passing cloud had crumpled her features.
Poem by İlhan Berk
Translated by Anne-Marie Toscan du Plantier and Edouard Roditi