19 Jan

Übersetzung + Publikation Englisch 2020

No Man's Land

Über­set­zung der Gedichte von Safiye Can ins amerikanis­che Englisch durch Prof. Mar­ilya Vete­to Reese
Pub­lika­tion bei: No Man’s Land — New Ger­man Lit­er­a­ture in Ger­man Translation

New German Literature in English Translation
-Quite possibly well and truly
-Away from the World
-That Child Never Amounted to Much

By Safiye Can

Trans­la­tion Mar­ilya Vete­to Reese

Quite pos­si­bly well and truly

Maybe home is a Kurt Cobain line
an Atti­la Ilhan verse
a thou­sand year old yearn­ing, the hair gone grey
the scent of rain atop the pasture
a view from the win­dow, black and white
foliage on a rut­ted path one autumn day
or Uncle Cemil with his woolen cap, when he laughs.

Maybe home is the shoot­ing star
over Llorett de Mar
that one mil­lisec­ond or the Repub­lic of Adygeja
is the munic­i­pal library of Offenbach
that hous­es Ernst Buch­holz inside
or the key to the door of a house, handed
to some­one in exile

Maybe home is some­thing dead-serious
with a moustache
or a bare­foot-run bit of bridge over water
the fragili­ty of the pop­py blossom
of our childhood
a cal­lithrix jac­chus, a marmoset
or a Hello-Kitty-balloon
hid­ing away in cot­ton candy

Maybe home is a nomad in Tuareg garb
rac­ing here and there
or a Mick­ey Mouse shirt and laced-up shoes
at the Baltic
and hair twist­ed into a braid
is a shat­tered glass you step on
that unex­pect­ed pang in the vicin­i­ty of your chest

Maybe home is falling into your own bed
after nights of par­ty­ing, jeans and sneak­ers still on
and stop­ping short and stop­ping short.
Is a cou­ple danc­ing to the beat of a tan­go for­get­ting themselves
the sight of two white-brown horses
aome­times Ter­mi­nal B of the Frank­furt Airport
or just sim­ply Fouzia’s voice.

Maybe home is the root of eightor a coiled trunk-like thing topped with cinnamon
is a chameleon adapt­ing itself.
Maybe though it’s Frau Grün
on the ground floor, who rants about everything


How much should you give up shed how many grams of your soul change yourself how often when exactly to get where on whose whim Integration (a poem in the shape of a question mark)

Away from the World

If only I could hide myself away
from the world
behind your back
only some­times peeking
in order to see, just to see
a little
whether way off there flow­ers bloom too

If I only could smile at a person
and thus take away all his woes
and then again could pro­tect the animal
from the person
the most frag­ile insect, the most mas­sive elephant.

If only I could hide myself away
from the world
with a hand­stand, just like that
clos­ing my eyes and knowing
for a moment, just knowing:
out there is no war, nowhere
no per­son kills anoth­er person
no per­son kills an animal
absolute­ly noth­ing is being killed
not autho­rized not condoned
and there is no avarice.
And could laugh aloud
since every­thing else is absurd
would be so incred­i­bly ab-solute-ly ab-surd

If only I could hide myself away
from the world
in a cloud perhaps
just peek out sometimes
to look down, just to look
a little
if down there chil­dren built sand­cas­tles too
if bees flew, seals swam

If only I could hide myself away
from the world
behind your back
nev­er­more rup­tured by reality
the real­i­ty would rupture
from all of the love of ours.

That Child Nev­er Amount­ed to Much

But do not tell
my uncle please
that I became a poet
he’ll only start to cry again.

From:  Safiye Can, Kinder der ver­lore­nen Gesellschaft (Chil­dren of a Lost Soci­ety), Wall­stein Ver­lag, Göt­tin­gen, 2017.Return To Top