Hayriye Ünal
A poetess, writer and literary critic, HAYRİYE ÜNAL graduated from the Mathematics Department of the Middle Eastern Technical University in 1997. She sits on the editorial board of Hece literary magazine. Hayriye Ünal made her debut into her writing career by translating literary works from English into Turkish for Hece magazine. Since 1997 she has continued to publish her poems in various literary magazines. In addition to her  writing poems and literary critiques, Hayriye Ünal has published a book entitled “Poliphonic Poetry’s Poetica” to express her views on poetry. Her poetry collection called Gerekli Açıklama (Necessary Explanation) was awarded, by the Turkish Writers Union, the Poetry Book of the Year in 2010. In the 2016, her work entitled Başkasının Sınırlarında Şair (The Poet at the Border of the Others) was awarded with criticism by ESKADER, and with literary criticism by the Turkish Writers Union. She has published 5 poetry collections, 2 essays and 1 criticism book.  


I am here all the time

like beachfront houses

Always restless

like the towers made out of ash

For sure I talked with screams sometimes

sometimes with whispers

Sometimes watching myself at the downpours

of talks

He is not waiting there for me

holding flowers

It is not like the rose pedals falling down gently

it hits you like a ton of bricks

He does not strike a peace settlement

with me

His coming looks like

an attack, a tactic in the shape of crescent


I am still here

by replying in kind to that coming

I am slapping the poor deserting soldiers

with inkwell


I am here

silent and forsaken

My words are from now on

cryptic and very hurried

My silence is still untrained

there is a salient resentment in my words

Though they are not lightsome

my respect to the settled systems

All the seats are occupied

the doors are forced and arms broken

Only a crazy person loves me

and my metamorphic figures with their colors flaked off

Only a crazy person furnished with eternal poetic ends

could appraise

The ones who could be more than one all at once

the true masters of life

The words are over for them

fighters for water

the ones wiring the land of brother


Nobody can hear

the wild sound in the cold of the night

It gets about

its entrance into the city


kids, it is out of joint, says

To you silent bridesmaids

were sent

Signal flares were used

in the summer nights

You were consecrated in a thousand styles

once the seal was broken

The sword was drawn



Who draws the sword

would be at the mercy of it

Why should I be distressed

if a neck was stretched

Why should my neck to be wounded

alongside with the ones that were wounded in my bosom

Oh yes, kismet and friendship

as well as the bread and a warm bed

Moreover a bird would move according to predestination

so walks the ant

If the plain tree I am proud of

would be wary of its shadow

Complaining about the wind

and becoming tired without tiring others

Without sweating, without being defeated

before being downed

Here you go! If that is what he screams

there is a sound of a fast approaching gang saw

My timber would not like

a collusion with the sharp steel

The steel does have its own allusion

when it hits

Could you ever make a quilt out of it

and cover yourself with it

Could you lie your exhausted head on

the down pillow you might have made out of it

You could only make it thin

and you like it as you get it thinned

You can get closer to its natural state

with gentleness and good deed


Come on come closer, with the memory of being split in half

because of the memory of the old scent

You were vengefully sharpened

come and bite, I am not flesh and bone

Recognize your power

mold my iron in a low pitch of fire

Rescue me

this time rescue me from myself

If you have got forty hours in this town

let it be known that for forty times redemption was atoned for

You are a line one’s hand

a bitter regret

a crack on the wall

If you have got forty hours

let my forty deaths come from your hand!


Hayriye Ünal

English Translation by Mesut Şenol