THE CURSED BOAT

A loose translation of ‘‘Meş’um Sandal’’, a poem by T.S., a mental patient whose poem appears in a poem anthology, compiled by one Bedia Tuncer (apparently a teacher, assigned by the state to a mental institution for reasons I didn’t bother to google..yet), published in the early 60’s Turkey.

This book is famous for another poem, that was lifted in part by Erkin Koray and made into the central poetic theme to his classic: Çöpçüler


<something mean to demean Erkin Baba>

Cursed Boat


Look,

in a boat

on the green,

sails a man

maybe fisher

maybe not

hard to say, but,

it doesn’t matter,

anyhow,

look on,

at the foam

of his wake,

look on,

that eye-catching

glassy shake,

and look on

and look on


look,

above the boat

is a flock

of seagulls:

wings and tails

that break the waves

that follow

wherever he may go,

and look,

how he falls

down and out

on his back,

then look on:

such poor chap!

such lost soul!

his rope

must have snapped

out from the lock

of his oar


look on,

it’s getting late

waters run dark,

deaf, and mute,

and the boat:

now vacant

in its slight wake,

and this cruel main,

wholly dim,

holds its secret

quiet within,

look on.