Sunday 12 May 2019

A Love Letter to a Mum

Aziz Nesin, born Mehmet Nusret, (20 December 1915 – 6 July 1995) was a Turkish writer, humorist and the author of more than 100 books. Born in a time when Turks did not have official surnames, he had to adopt one after the Surname Law of 1934 was passed. He chose the surname "Nesin". In Turkish, Nesin? means, What are you?
After serving as a career officer for several years, he became the editor of a series of satirical periodicals with a socialist slant. He was jailed several times and placed under surveillance by the National Security Service for his political views.
Here below is a poem he wrote about his mother, which touched me deeply, below you'll find the translation, his mother lived mostly before the Turkish republic was established, during the Ottoman Empire. (source: wikipedia)

Happy Mother's day to all good mothers out there!


Bütün anneler annelerin en güzeli,
Sen, en güzellerin güzeli.
Onüçünde evlendin,
Onbeşinde beni doğurdun,
Yirmialtı yaşındaydın,
Yaşamadan öldün.
Sevgi taşan bu yüreği sana borçluyum.
Bir resmin bile yok bende,
Fotoğraf çektirmek günahtı.
Ne sinema seyrettin, ne tiyatro.
Elektrik, havagazı, su, soba
Ve karyola bile yoktu evinde.
Denize giremedin,
Okuma yazma bilmedin.
Güzel gözlerin,
Kara peçenin arkasından baktı dünyaya.
Yirmialtı yaşındayken
Yaşamadan öldün.
Anneler artık yaşamadan ölmeyecek,
Böyle gelmiş,
Ama böyle gitmeyecek.

1965, "Taşkent - Moskova Yolu. Uçakta" -
Aziz Nesin


Of all the mothers, you are the very best,
You, the prettiest of the pretty.

Married at thirteen,
Gave birth to me at fifteen,
You were twenty-six,
When died without living.

I owe you this loving heart.

I don't even have your photograph,
It was a sin, having photographs taken.
You saw movies nor theater.
You had at home no electricity, no water, gas or stove,
Not even a bed you had.

You didn't see the sea,
You could not read or write.
Your beautiful eyes,
Watched the world from behind the black veil.

Twenty-six years old,
You died without living.

Mothers will not die without living anymore,
It was like that,
But it won't be like that.

1965, Tashkent - Moscow flight.
Aziz Nesin

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