A poet, writer and editor, Celâl Fedai was born in Kayseri. He graduated from the Turkish Language and Literature Department of Dokuz Eylül University. He earned his Master’s degree at the same university. His first poetry collection called Şeytanın Günlüksüz Irgadı (Satan’s Laborer without a Diary) was out in 2001. In 2002 this was followed by the book of the same title. The Turkish Writers Union recognized him in 2005 for his third poetry collection called Parmak İle Boyanmış (Painted with a Finger) (2004) with a prize of the Poet of the Year. İç (Interior), Olağanüstü Şiirler (Extraordinary Poems) and Prensesleri Geri Çağırın (Call the Princesses Back) are the names of the other poetry collections of the poet. His sensitivity about poetry led him to writing poetry and essays dealing with worldly life issues and thinking. In this vein, he published the following works: Suyu Seveni Derin Batırın Irmağa (Sink Deep the Ones Who Love the River), Spekülatörlere Karşı Şiiri Savunmak (To Defend Poetry Against Speculators), Sözcükler İçin Savaş (Fighting for Words), Şiiri Konuştular (They Talked about Poetry) and Hakikatin Hatırı (For the Sake of the Truth). He serves as the editor-in-Chief of the literary magazine called Melâmet (Blame). He lives in İzmir.
I AM AN INDEFATIGABLE POET If you were going to use foul language, why didn’t you do it like me A thousand times I would sing the same ballad I would not want to spoil it a little bit What is left without being degenerated This melancholy is our worst enemy Aiming at the ears of grain Corroding tractors If only you would not have spoiled our swearing James Joyce was said to have written seven thousand pages And Herman Melville did it for damned Dollars Writing four thousand pages in seven years Large and small kind of swearing with Ahab, Ishmael and Bartleby folks This public opinion would not fall for our games After all, the games we know would not amount to a cafe Would you say it is not worth it for the kitchen folks who drank and ate Had we not ruined our swearing then how nice it would be for us to be hungry and unsheltered Don’t you know about not to be appreciated value left from us If only you would not have corrupted our swearing for seven years then I would have kept quiet You did spoil it but don’t think that I am angry with you It was good that you broke it, now it is our hope to make out new swearing lines We are the trees of this mountain, neither sweet nor hot By filling the days into the kangaroo pouches of this mountain We are the trees of that mountain, both sweet and hot Wherever we don’t find a divine justice We can pour solid waste oils over their heads You wouldn’t know that I have been silent during day time for many years For you would be able to swear like me one more time. Celâl Fedai English Translation by Mesut Şenol