From time to time, I busy myself (mis)translating poems from languages that I do not speak. Tonight it is eight below zero outside. I expect we will have the white here in Cappadocia tomorrow, if not quite the Christmas.
So, it seemed appropriate to share this mistranslation from the great Turkish modernist poet Sezai Karakoç.
Happy Christmas, or Yule, or whatever midwinter festival you prefer, to one and all.
Snow Poem (mis)translated from Sezai Karakoç
When you look and see that it is snowing
You will understand the snow-gripped ground.
And when you find a fistful of snow on the ground
You will understand how snow can burn in snow.
When God rains down from the sky like snow,
When the hot snow touches your hot, hot hair
And when you bow your head,
Then you will understand this poem of mine.
This man or that man comes and goes,
And in your hands, my dream comes and goes.
A vengeance comes and goes in each forgiveness.
You will understand me when you understand this poem of mine.