Turkish Poetry IV - Orhan Veli Kanik - As Death Approaches


The Death of Empedocles by Salvator Rosa

As Death Approaches
Orhan Veli Kanik (1914-1950)

Translated by David Garwood (1982)


Toward the coming on of evening, in winter time,
At the window of a sick man's bedroom-
I'm not the only one to be so alone;
It's dark on the sea, the sky is dark, too.
Funny, how the birds are behaving tonight!
Don't mind that I'm poor, that I'm alone in the world;
-Toward the coming on of evening in winter time-
I too in my time have had my love affairs.
To be famous, to have women, to make money-
In time one gets to know the world as it is.

Is it because we're to die that we have these regrets?
What were we, what happened to us in this world,
In this mortal old world, except evil?
We shall be rid of our dirt at our death,
With death we'll get to be good men at last.
Being famous, having women, making money, and all-
We'll forget all that when we die.

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