Fahriye Abla

We present this work in honor of the 40th anniversary of the poet’s death.

Ahmet Muhip Dıranas
Turkish
1909 – 1980

 

The air filled with a pungent charcoal smell
And the doors closed before sunset;
From that neighborhood as languid as a laudanum
You are the only surviving trace in my memory, you
Who smiled at the vast light of her own dreams.
With your eyes, your teeth, and your white neck
What a sweet neighbor you were, Fahriye abla!

Your house was as small as a neat box;
Its balcony thickly intertwined and the shades
Of ivies at the tiny hours of the sunset
Washed over in a nearby hidden brook.
A green flowerpot stood in your window all year round
And in spring acacias blossomed in your garden
What a charming neighbor you were, Fahriye abla!

Earlier you had long hair, then short and styled;
Light-complexioned, you were as tall as an ear of corn,
Your wrists laden with ample golden bracelets
Tickled the heart of all men
And occasionally your short skirt swayed in the wind.
You sang mostly obscene love songs
What a sexy neighbor you were, Fahriye Abla!

Rumors had it that you were in love with that lad
And finally you were married to a man from Erzincan
I don’t know whether you still live with your first husband
Or whether you are in Erzincan of snowy mountaintops.
Let my heart recollect the long-forgotten days
Things that live in memory do not change by time
What a nice neighbor you were, Fahriye Abla!

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