Cevdet Karal
A poet, writer and editor, Cevdet Karal was born in Of, Trabzon.  His first poetry collections of Horozlu Ayna ve Ölüm (A Mirror Embellished with a Rooster) and Hilkatin İlk Günleri (The First Days of Creation) were published respectively in 1998 and 2006 (by Kaknüs). In 2015 his poetry book containing a book long poem called Cesedi Nereye Gömelim (Where Shall We Bury the Dead Body) met its readers by Everest Publishing. Between 1997 and 2004 he served as one of the founders and editors of the literary-culture magazine Kaşgar. Karal was awarded in 2015 with the Necil Fazıl Poetry Prize.  


The dead body on grass

Messieurs, they were strangled

Possible by a cravat worn

By esteemed professors

With their bellies looking like a speech bubble

While flying to London for a symposium
I show you that dead body

The barbed wire separating the mosque from the garden
God disguised as a lord

If only he would sneak in through the security

Or a preacher of a town

Approved by the Religious Affairs Administration

Benefit receipts are being held in his hand

They will bury him in a respected


Alongside with two old assistant professors
And only just

The letters to be red after the rain

Only just

A few words to be inscribed

By the students freshly arrived from the countryside

Like the thinking man sculpture

On the cement bench they perched

Anyway it looks like a tombstone


The poets I have thrown to the Earth

With their craziness aptitude

They are astonished
Believe me

Dancing folks with their elongated tongues

The ones with their shirts of buttoned collars
And the ones assassinating metaphysics on the steps

And the fellows gathered trying to crucify

The ones who enter the field of contest without their fathers

The wise whose heads are as big as

The footnote asteriks

Get them and drag them

Oh the confused, I am talking to you

Let hang them with their cravats

Like a shrine bound with rags

On the Bosphorus Bridge


We collected signatures

The sinners talk about an imminent amnesty

Allah is in our mind like a bistoury forgotten by surgeons


The Trump of Doom, with the permission of Allah

Shall be blown from the building of the Office of the Dean
Though for me

I had lived a life speeded up with the spilled blood

The choppers scratched by six knives are of modesty

The sole breath I gave interpreted favorably the fact that I live
There remains a question in the temple of the cognizant

To be unable to satisfy their desire

The dead body was found
Cevdet Karal

English Translation by Mesut Şenol