Diving into Walt Whitman

I enjoyed making this video. I love poetry. Hope you will enjoy my reading from “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman.

I have been reading poetry under the sunlight after the first snowfall in West Lafayette. The book I am reading now is called “Leaves of Grass” by the famous poet Walt Whitman. I am reading from Autumn Rivulets in the book. The first poem is “To a Foil’d European Revolutionaire”, the second is “This Compost” and the third is the last few passages of “Song of Prudence”.

“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.”

And I never miss the chance of using this quote of Leonard Cohen.


I gave them the gun,

And they dropped me dead.

My eyes were wide and open

To see the void of affection in their face.

The short interval between

The triggering and the bullet reaching my heart

Cut all the ties and kill everything vague;

Between that very moment

And all that is rest.


I wonder how easy it is to be swept away

from the brightness to the jungle of nothingness.

Time is a puzzle that I still can’t solve.

It comes, it swerves, it slides;

It twists and then it vanishes

From my inside and out.


I remember those wild nights

That made me brave;

Just when the bullet was touching me

To drop me dead.

I realized only then my fate,

But I’ll live forever

In the air and in the ears

I can bet.



Picture source: Immortal Knight by Rassouli from http://www.avatarfinearts.com/Rassouli-Gallery/Surrealism-Art/Symbolic-Surrealist-painting-of-Knights-on-Horse.html

Drink me

As if that obviousness wasn’t enough!

From far, it still looked like a shadow,

Some doubts thus still lingered,

On your lips there’s no answer yet.

Couldn’t those moments be bit more expressive?

If those clouds wouldn’t hide anything!

What more there to be naked?

It can’t be more both calm and restless and therefore inviting.

Let’s not let it be dry,

‘Coz you can always catch and stop time.

Or you can choose to fly like a butterfly often with no intention.

To lose can’t be a sin.

We’d rather embrace and sweat with our yearnings.

This mystery and you, here I breathe,

A little inception in the now is what I only long for.

The deep urge of this urgency can be welcomed.

Then take a shower in the drops of uneasiness.

And curl me inside with your legs.

More incidents will not precipitate more love.

It’s impossible to find discontinuity with an open eye.

And I won’t stop drinking you.


Image source: Google images.

Sadness is about feeling aloof from the sweetness,

Sadness is about failing to filter the joy of life through the bitterness,

Sadness is about trying to escape

Sadness is about being unable to let go

Sadness is about not being desired

Sadness is about feeling afraid

Sadness is about feeling invisible in the crowd

Sadness is about not accepting the very own insignificance

Sadness is about feeling ignored

Sadness is about feeling powerless and miserable

Sadness is about trying to hold onto everything

Sadness is about burning inside

Sadness is about feeling shy to cry

Sadness is about missing and roaming in the pockets of memory

Sadness is about getting caught in a maze

Sadness is about getting stuck in the darkness

Sadness is about failing to see the light

Sadness is about isolation

Sadness is about getting lost


Happiness is about feeling the sensation of a warm coffee cup

Happiness is about kissing the lips without contradictions

Happiness is about getting naked under the moonlight

Happiness is about being silly in the crowd

Happiness is about kicking the nightmares

Happiness is about not feeling afraid

Happiness is about feeling secured

Happiness is about feeling recognized, feeling important

Happiness is about lighting the fire

Happiness is about dancing with the wind

Happiness is about taking a deep breath without fear

Happiness is about feeling empowered

Happiness is about finding the path towards brightness

Happiness is about making friendly calls

Happiness is about embracing everyone

Happiness is about rediscovering ownself

Happiness is about getting discovered


Both just happen to us.

Both are unreal.

But we are real.

On Living – A poem shared by a friend

A poem by Nazim Hikmet from turkey shared by a Turkish friend. And I said to my friend “I like how it gives me a sense of purpose and the meaning in living and the desire to live more seriously.” So, feeling to share..

About the poet Nazim Hikmet

Nazim Hikmet was born on January 15, 1902 in Salonika, Ottoman Empire (now Thessaloníki, Greece), where his father served in the Foreign Service. He was exposed to poetry at an early age through his artist mother and poet grandfather, and had his first poems published when he was seventeen.

Raised in Istanbul, Hikmet left Allied-occupied Turkey after the First World War and ended up in Moscow, where he attended the university and met writers and artists from all over the world. After the Turkish Independence in 1924 he returned to Turkey, but was soon arrested for working on a leftist magazine. He managed to escape to Russia, where he continued to write plays and poems.

And the poem:

On Living
Nazim Hikmet, 1902 – 1963

Living is no laughing matter:
you must live with great seriousness
like a squirrel, for example—
I mean without looking for something beyond and above living,
I mean living must be your whole occupation.
Living is no laughing matter:
you must take it seriously,
so much so and to such a degree
that, for example, your hands tied behind your back,
your back to the wall,
or else in a laboratory
in your white coat and safety glasses,
you can die for people—
even for people whose faces you’ve never seen,
even though you know living
is the most real, the most beautiful thing.
I mean, you must take living so seriously
that even at seventy, for example, you’ll plant olive trees—
and not for your children, either,
but because although you fear death you don’t believe it,
because living, I mean, weighs heavier.

Let’s say we’re seriously ill, need surgery—
which is to say we might not get up
from the white table.
Even though it’s impossible not to feel sad
about going a little too soon,
we’ll still laugh at the jokes being told,
we’ll look out the window to see if it’s raining,
or still wait anxiously
for the latest newscast. . .
Let’s say we’re at the front—
for something worth fighting for, say.
There, in the first offensive, on that very day,
we might fall on our face, dead.
We’ll know this with a curious anger,
but we’ll still worry ourselves to death
about the outcome of the war, which could last years.
Let’s say we’re in prison
and close to fifty,
and we have eighteen more years, say,
before the iron doors will open.
We’ll still live with the outside,
with its people and animals, struggle and wind—
I mean with the outside beyond the walls.
I mean, however and wherever we are,
we must live as if we will never die.

This earth will grow cold,
a star among stars
and one of the smallest,
a gilded mote on blue velvet—
I mean this, our great earth.
This earth will grow cold one day,
not like a block of ice
or a dead cloud even
but like an empty walnut it will roll along
in pitch-black space . . .
You must grieve for this right now
—you have to feel this sorrow now—
for the world must be loved this much
if you’re going to say “I lived”. . .

Being touched in the heart

I recently got introduced to turkish music by a friend. Some of the songs are really good. For me, lyrics are important and that’s why if I like the music of a song, I naturally look up whether a translation exists or ask a friend who knows the meaning of the words. There’s these two artists I like now – one is “Pinhani” and “Emre Ayden“. Their voice really touches my heart. I would like to share Pinhani’s “Nehirler Durmaz”.

Birazdan güneş doğacak
Sun will rise soon

Açacak çiçek sana sormadan

The flower will bloom without asking you

Birazdan gün başlayacak

The day will start soon

Saatin çalacak hiç utanmadan

Your clock will go off without shame

Oysa sen bir nehirsin

But you are a river

Ve nehirler durmaz

And rivers don’t stop

Kavuşur bir an önce sevdiğine

They rejoin with the one they love

Asla geç kalmaz

They are never late

İstesen gelebilirsin

If you want, you can come

Yola çıkmadan olmaz

Not before to hitting road

Sabah olmadan gelsen bile

Even if you come before morning

Ellerim sen olmadan ısınmaz

My hands can’t warm without you

Birazdan gece son bulacak

The night will be end soon

Kaçacak uykun ardına bakmadan

You’ll lose your sleep without looking back

Birazdan yollar dolacak

The roads will be crowded soon

This song includes all these natural scenes that take me to these beautiful places where I can imagine to walk, even touch and feel content. How the river is used as a metaphor is also quite interesting, how the flow of water diverges, converges makes me roll in to the deep – that quite fits into how a life goes by I assume.

And the next song is Emre Aydin‘s “Ses Ver”.

Duvarlar ördüm, köprüler yıktım
I put up walls, pull down bridges

Döndüm bir baktım, hiçbir şeyi unutmamışım

I looked back, I haven’t forgotten anything

Eğer her şey bitiyorsa bitsin artık yokluğunda

If everything ends let it already end in your abscence

Eğer her şey bitiyorsa, beni bırakma burada

If everything ends, don’t leave me here

Çocuklar toplanıp gittiler

The children came together and went away from my soul

Dünle unutmak arasındayım şimdi

Now, I’m between yesterday and forgetting

Sen yoksun inan, bir tek sen lazımken

Believe me, you are absent when all I need you

Bir ses ver, yapma, burada bırakma bizi

Give out a sound, don’t, don’t leave a mark

Çocuklar toplanıp gittiler içimden

The kids came together and went away from my soul

Dünle unutmak arasındayım şimdi

Now, I’m between yesterday and forgetting

Sen yoksun inan, bir tek sen lazımken

Believe me, you are absent when all I need you

Bir ses ver, yapma, burada bırakma bizi

Give out a sound, don’t, don’t leave a mark

ses ver

Give out a sound

ses ver

Give out a sound

Yeminler ettim ve çok konuştum

I swore, I talked a lot of

Döndüm bir baktım, hiçbir şey söylememişim

I looked back, I haven’t said anything

Eğer her şey bitiyorsa bitsin artık yokluğunda

If everything ends let it already end in your abscence

I like the poetry in these two songs. The remembering, the forgetting, the presence, the absence all make sense to me in quite a vivid way. “If everything ends let it already end in your abscence”- it may be the absence of a person – a loved one, but I can treat it also as the absence of something more abstract or materialistic that used to be close, that used to be a part of myself. Just giving out a sound, coz inside it’s so chaotic that you sometimes feel not to express, but you should shout. Looking back, you could have done otherwise, everything shall pass.

I also like some turkish rap. I think Ceza is probably the most popular and I like the song “Suspus”.

Göz gözü görmüyor hep pus
No one can see each others, it’s all haze

Takipteler ses etme sus

They’re following, don’t make sound, shush

Bir vakit donmuştu beynim

My brain has freezed once

Düzlükteyken bitmiş seyrim

My journey has ended on the level

Göz gözü görmüyor hep pus

No one can see each others, it’s all haze

Takipteler ses etme sus

They’re following, don’t make sound, shush

Durma git enerjini kus

Go ahead and discharge your energy

Zaten çok soğuk etraf buz

It is already too cold, freezing

Hiç yalan der misin a ah

Do you tell lies? no..

Pek dert dinler misin a ah

Do you listen to others troubles? no..

Ya bayat yer misin a ah

Do you eat stale? no..

İnsan seçer misin a ah

Do you discriminate people? no..

Dikkatli izlersen anlarsın haklı megatron

If you pay attention, you’ll see that Megatron is right

Bende ghillie kevlar-mythril, sende sade bir kat krom

I have a Ghillie Kevlar-mythril, you have only one layer of chromium

Zaten tekim, çıplak gezsem n’olur, her gün dekatlon

I’m a lone ranger, what happens if I walk naked, everyday is another decathlon

Hep dikenli tel etrafımda, kendi kendimeyim her gün sor bir

Barbed wire all around me, I’m on my own everyday, ask me one time

Hep diken diken gel bir gör

It’s all barb, come and see one time

Tıkandı kaldı bak her bir form

Look, every form is choked up

Kırıntıların arasında kaldım, adı konsun artık

I stayed between crumbs, it needs a name now

Hadi konsomatrisim ol, her sokakta beni bulmak zor

Let’s be my B-girl, it’s hard to find me in every on streets

Sıkılanlardan mısın ya da ıkınanlardan mısın?

Are you from the bored ones or stretched ones?

Kulağına dandik müzik takılanlardansın

You are from the ones wear dud music in their ears.

Ama kusura bakma yapılacak hiçbir şey yok

Sorry but there’s nothing to do.

Hızlı söyleyen ben değilim yavaş dinleyen sizlersiniz hep

I’m not fast, you are the one listening too slow always

Yavaş söylesem anlayacakmış gibi konuşuyor, şuna baksana kek

Look at that fool, he is talking like he’d understand if I speak slowly

Altına bez, al sana test, iki kere iki Ceza eder net

Here a napkin for you, here a test for you, two times two equal Ceza, yes

Birikiminiz ile bir bardak bile dolmaz, öğrenebildin mi veled?

Your savings cannot fill up even a glass, haven’t you learnt that, you brat?

Rap harekettir ve de politiktir

Rap is the motion and it is political

Bunu hazmedemiyor isen hassiktir

Fuck off, if you can’t swallow it

Duvarda hit-list, çoğunuz misfit

On the wall hit-list, many of you are misfits

Karalarım her yeri sen gene hit this

I scratch everywhere, you is again “hit this”

Bilmiyorsan sus, yaralara tuz bas, karalara ayak ile herkese

Shut up if you don’t know, press salt in the wounds,

Kumpas kur bak, uzaktan head shot.Zaten…

Machinate to everyone, look, head shot from far away. Already

Göz gözü görmüyor hep pus

No one can see each others, it’s all haze

Takipteler ses etme sus

They’re following, don’t make sound, shush

Bir vakit donmuştu beynim

My brain has freezed once

Düzlükteyken bitmiş seyrim

My journey has ended on the level

Göz gözü görmüyor hep pus

No one can see each others, it’s all haze

Takipteler ses etme sus

They’re following, don’t make sound, shush

Ceza’s voice in this song gives me strength. I think this song talks about the fuzzy nature in our society where we are all shielded, confused about our journey of life. But in the end, he recommends to say “Fuck off” to all bullshits because every form is choked up and you should discharge everything you got.


Road to somewhere

Then when it was dark beneath the clouds,
I waited; waited for the moon to be visible.
The unavailable me thus misses the interpretation –
That the mere reflection of light doesn’t really matter.
If it’s all-encompassing and over-arching,
If there’s truly no end of those seemingly finite curves,
What to wait for!


Within the reach of the firm grip love lies.
But that’s another free fall towards the infinity.
If you want to be cloaked by your desire’s blanket,
The cold winter will never stop.


Then when it was bright and glowing,
I was running through the corridors with your hands in mine.
But there were no ways to abstract from the particulars.
All the general notions can blend into  meaninglessness.
But the vanishing nothingness melds into your lips,
As the passion can never be absent or cease to exist.
So then a romantic interlude.


A Dream Within A Dream

I love this poem by Edgar Allan Poe. It touches so much with my inner feelings that I feel exalted. The poem with its words captures so nicely the dream and the flow of reality that this body and mind experiences. But yet it expresses desire, desire to hold, desire to grasp, then it still remains suspicious.

A Dream Within A Dream

– Edgar Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

There you go

There you go again, again the quest for searching places you can merge.

You can’t stop climbing the walls because you want to see the other side

All the dreams you are unsure of and all the reflections you want to absorb.

No wander why you can’t avoid the surge of your desires.

Not that all you can understand in this short span of life,

But don’t quit trying to make sense of everything that interests you.

When the rainbow and it’s color are all over in that cloudy sky,

You want to walk, you want to walk endlessly, incessantly.

Green Attraction

It’s afternoon as you can see so many shadows getting longer,

The sky’s getting calmer, but the heart’s growing to be unruly,

It wants to express the feelings it’s experiencing;

But the barrier of all unknowns in between it finds irritating.

These distinctive moments when you are trying to concentrate

There’s an innocent sensation that I say, you emanate.

An amusement and the sparkles your face radiate-

Attraction has its color, green, blue, orange

I feel green when I submerge in my imagination with you.