Koray Feyiz


Koray Feyiz is a Turkish poet, born in Istanbul in 1961. He studied Geodesy and Photogrammetry Engineering, and Urban Planning, at Karadeniz Technical University, and at Middle East Technical University. He completed his doctoral dissertation on Urban Psychology. Feyiz is currently engaged in research on Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing. His first published poem appeared in one of Turkey's most prestigous literary magazines, Varlık, in 1987. His poems and prose essays have
continued to appear in numerous Turkish literary magazines over the last two decades. He has also published six collections of his poetry: The Graveyard is Not Exhausted (Iz, 1987), Two Solitudes in One Letter (Engin,1988), I Am a Desolate, Exhausted City (Prospero, 1995), The Metaphysical Autocrat (Urun, 1995), To You Who Arrived in a Dream (Suteni,1995) and Cause of My Grief, I Forgave You (Hera, 1999). He is finishing a new book of poems, scheduled for publication in 2010.

All poems on this page
have been translated from Turkish
by Nesrin Eruysal & Kenneth Rosen




In the fading light of the night
snow came down like
feathers scattered from an obliterated pillow.
I am holding my heart close to a desolate fire.


Snow fell, fog descended onto the roofs,
I couldn't go out.
One of my hands is a doorknob,
the other is the withered silhouette of a tree.
I opened and closed the windows,
against the whistling wind.
The roof tiles kept rattling.
I was paralyzed here, and struggled to walk.


Snow is falling.
Pots, pans, pitcher, washtub, whatever I could find
I placed under the untidy table.
I did everything to look
'broken and far gone' to you.


A window caught fire.
The sea rose from its hiding place,
a walnut tree in the soil,
its shadow dark and cool.
I came for your sake,
leaving a drop of blood on every needle.
I came for this woman
whose portrait I engraved on my wrist.


I don't love this woman.
In the soil rising from the sea's hiding place,
the walnut tree first bursts into flowers, then teems with fruits.
Love doesn't dwell here anymore.


Snow and fog! They hide in their own illuminations.
Their shadows are dark and serene.
A yellow pallor is entering the leaves
of this walnut tree,
in light of death's gaudy motley.
I called Salih Bolat but his phone didnít answer
or else the line was dead.


There is suffering again, the same as usual.
Bertholt Brecht says:
"Many have a passion for orderliness,
and spread a tablecloth before dinner
if they have one."


İzzet died, you wrote me a letter.
I cried reading your letter that whole summer,
spent in my ivy-covered garden.
Crying implied desperation, though maybe I was always desperate.
Crying implied escape, though maybe I always escaped.
Crying implied misapprehension, though maybe I always misunderstood.
Crying implied a mistake, and maybe I always made mistakes.
In my ivy covered garden that whole summer,
cause of my grief, I forgave you.
The summer passed, the rust of autumn accrued inside of me.
Dry leaves, Ozan has completed his military service.
I donít know if anything else occurred.
If there is one thing I donít know, itís the ritual of worship.
I know separation and betrayal.
I know camaraderie and the cold hand of death
wandering over my bosom biting like a snake, silently.
Everyone likes silence, not me.
İzzet didnít like to carry his books under his armpit,
but he liked reading them.
He liked poetry, but not darkness.
He didnít especially like this city, but he liked its crowdedness.
He was all alone, and he liked those wounded like himself.
This is why the carnation on his collar never faded away.
İzzet died and you wrote me a letter.
I shivered reading your letter that whole summer
spent in my ivy-covered garden.
Shivering implied unhappiness, though maybe we were always unhappy.
Shivering implied fear, though maybe we were always frightened.
Shivering implied loneliness, though maybe we were always lonely.
Shivering implied poetry, though maybe we were always poets.


My eyes
grown accustomed to
looking at walls so much
they do not see anything else,
are now totally blind.

Thousands of walls seem to
rise inside myself.
There is no sky above my head,
only thousands of walls.

The hard beat
of my weak, exhausted heart,
in an enormous dream garden,
always leafing out.

And now, as if to play Russian roulette
with life,
a fire has begun. It is faint,
but dominating.

And yet sometimes,
igniting quietly,
a beam of light
will suddenly leak into the room.

It passes through that slight
air shaft under the door.
Then it descends
down to the floor
and remains in the deep.

(20 September 1980 Mamak)

Copyright © 2010 Koray Feyiz
Translated by Nesrin Eruysal & Kenneth Rosen

Nesrin Eruysal is a literary scholar and translator of two books, Corporate Religion (Mediacat, 2002) and A Company of Citizens (Mediacat, 2005). She has published a number of articles that explore the relationship between literature and Jungian thought and is the author of "I Wish That Jewish Doctor Had Come Earlier" (Gozlem Publication Company, 2002). In addition to literature, she has an interest in Nissology and Western Esotericism. She is currently editing Soylesi Poetry Quarterly, the Turkish version of Conversation Poetry Quarterly.
Kenneth Rosen worked as a Professor of English at the University of Southern Maine for many years. His first collection of poems, Whole Horse, was selected by Richard Howard for the Braziller Poetry Series. Others are The Hebrew Lion, Black Leaves, Longfellow Square, Reptile Mind, No Snake No Paradise, The Origins of Tragedy, Homo Politico and Cyprus Bad Period. He spent a sabbatical semester as Balkan Scholar at the American University in Bulgaria teaching American poetry and 20th century fiction, and returned there again as a Fulbright professor. A second Fulbright award brought him as Senior Scholar to Minya University in Upper Egypt. He also spent a year in Cyprus as a Fulbright professor. His sojourns in Eastern Europe and the Middle East have had a major impact on his teaching and writing. Widely published in America, Rosen is currently working on The Goat's Mirror, a novel.