Home Literature/Poetry We have our sky – Poetry from Turkey

We have our sky – Poetry from Turkey

We have our sky – Poetry from Turkey
A beautiful view of Istanbul

We have our own sky; Ships made of eyes, wings of eyelashes; In meeting glances, we take flight

Nurduran Duman, a Turkish poet, playwright, translator, editor from Istanbul, shares her poems                    

Nurduran Duman - Turkish poet - Sindh CourierNurduran Duman is a Turkish poet, playwright, translator, editor who lives in Istanbul. Pursuing her passion for the sea, she received a degree as an Ocean Engineer and Naval Architect from Istanbul Technical University. She’s a columnist in one of the most prestigious newspaper of Turkey ‘Cumhuriyet’. She is National Coordinator of World Poetry Movement in Turkey. She is a poet included in the European poetry platform Versopolis. Her books include Yenilgi Oyunu, the 2005 Cemal Sureya Poetry Award winner, and Mi Bemol. ‘Semi-Circle’, a chapbook of her poems translated into English, was published in the United States in 2016 and further English translations can be found in Asymptote, Colorado Review, and Kenyon Review, Faultline, Modern Poetry in Translation (MPT) and others. Her books of “Selected Poems” (Versopolis, 2017, Macedonian-English-Turkish) in Macedonia, “Selected Poems” (Versopolis, 2019, Dutch-English-Turkish) in Belgium. Her poetry collection “Steps of Istanbul” 2019 (Chinese-English-Turkish) was published in China in November 2019, and was awarded as “The Poetry Collection of the Year of the Second Boao International Poetry Award”. She received Golden Camel Award of 2020 Silk Road International Poetry Awards. Her poem “The River” was published in Modern Poetry in Translation (MPT) in 2017 in the UK. She featured in the #internationalwomensday2018 (#IWD18) MPT list of ten women poets in translation from all over the World. The poem “act” for Alexandre Hollan’s painting, she wrote upon request of Paul Valéry Museum in France, was published in the book of museum “Peinture et Poésie (Painting and Poetry)”. Her poems also have been translated into Finnish, Chinese, Spanish, Azerbaijan, Turkish, Bulgarian, Romanian, Slovak, French, German, Occitan, Macedonian, Persian and Italian. Duman was elected as a board member of the Writers Syndicate of Turkey and is an active member of Turkish PEN. She presented the literature program ‘Yazın Küresi – Sphere of Literature’ and the children literature program ‘Kitap Hazinesi – Treasure of the Book’ for radio and television. She has also been involved in many theatre activities as an actress, director throughout her career, and as a playwright nowadays. Her play “Before the Fly” was accepted into the repertoire of Turkish State Theaters and is being staged by Bursa State Theatre. She is Member of Turkish PEN. She teaches the course “Sociological Analysis in Turkish Literature” at Bahçeşehir University. She teaches poetry, creative writing and literary sociology in universities and workshops. She moderates literature activities as a curator in various platforms. She curates events in Istanbul in the name of the World Poetry Movement.

Istanbul – Pinterest image

We have our sky 

In a dream, into another dream  

A door opens, closes:  a star

Deep cut angles stitched down lightly

By an invisible needle on the folds of sky

We have our own sky

Ships made of eyes, wings of eyelashes

In meeting glances, we take flight

We’re practicing forms of laughter

Life’s other defiance

(Translated by Aron Aji)



How the deer wakes to the water

If the crane is in the dream

A pinch of salt to your love! How sweet over the gem stone

Blind ironsmith, bald coppersmith, crazed ceramicist…

Let someone come from nothingness and make the heart a river

Hot burr poisonous copper

The clay is cooked and not yeasted

Human: how are you sweetened?

Your soil was rained on

The fragrance will release in time

When the day comes the letters

Curl to their lines

That moment the pencil marks your paper

Moment by moment the lead leaves its point

How does the human walk

Does it see its face: the water?


mountaineering-araratCustom chronicle

God’s mountains rivers laws society

Loadstones numbers wheel

Also money gunpowder paper then printing

Time in units

From brick houses gaze at stars

Springs in gardens

Glass entwined glistening roof

Who sees the wind?

They left gold in the soil

Pearls on the seabed

Some said to the books

How does it feel?

The unending virtue


72bab8f91ab4a63c41e7ee523fdb5e51Binding sparking

Stones to soil salt to books

All life carriers!

Come now come forward

Here only one step already three times of three

Inner barriers outer fences, decisions

Evil an accident one’s self is pure as nature

Every night before sleep

Everyone could bury a pinch of darkness

Underneath trees to water’s bottom

Heartfelt hearts bind together

Can’t we spark stones and set alight?

(Translated by Grace Wessels)


Read: Do The Bell Toll Children? Bouquet of Poems from Turkey


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