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Camlibel. the Walls of Caravanserai

Camlibel. the Walls of Caravanserai

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“The Walls of Caravanserai,” by Faruk Nafiz Çamlibel, Turkish poet, translated by Nilüfer Mizanoğlu Reddy
“The Walls of Caravanserai,” by Faruk Nafiz Çamlibel, Turkish poet, translated by Nilüfer Mizanoğlu Reddy

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Published by: Mrs Nilufer Mizanoglu Reddy on Jun 20, 2010
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06/20/2010

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ÇAMLIBEL,FARUKNAFIZ(1898-1973)
THEWALLSOFCARAVANSERAI
The dark horses neighed the leather whip cracked,For a minute the carriage came to a halt.Then the iron springs shook under my seat,In front of my eyes passed the caravanserais...Filled with forebodings for the lands far from home,I was on my way to inner Anatolia via Uluk 
ış
la road.My first sorrow and separation resembling the first love;The air warmed up with the fire kindled by my heart,But the sky, the earth and the bare trees were yellow...Behind the chains of high Toros mountains,Ahead the slopes paled by a long winter…Then the turning wheels moaning at each turn...As my hands were ensnared with the wind’s tresses,Our carriage clung onto the side of a mountain.Heights everywhere loneliness all over,But for the sound of the whistle coming from the lips of the carter!The roads seemed to stretch, turn and bend with this whistle.Serpentine roads that seemed fast asleep,Raised their heads to the silence so deep.The sky was getting cloudy the wind chilly,The rain started coming down in a fine drizzle.After the last climb the land became so flat,We turned ashen by the sight of this tableland.The roads like ribbons tied us up to the horizon,The strange land was pulling me incessantly to itself.The road, always the road the flatland had no end...Not a village to be seen not even the illusion of a hovel,Deserted roads constantly reminding of one’s mortality.Only an occasional rider or a couple of foot-travelers passing by.The wheels rattling over the jagged stones,Were telling stories to the roads.And the long sprawling roads shook with this noise...Abandoning myself to the sound of the wheels,I lay down and fell asleep on a mattress in the carriage.A jolt... I woke up from my long nap,The carriage was passing through a brook like a road.Across from us was Ni
ğ
de rising like a fort,
 
A sound of bells was coming from our right;Then a camel caravan slowly passed in front of us.Around the corner appeared the run-down inn of the region.Meanwhile a semi-darkness was enveloping everything,We untied our horses and entered the inn.To find solace for the wounds in their hearts,The destitute had gathered in the caravanserai.All four corners of the earth joining at one point,Exiled souls had come together at the hearth.Their eyes became dreamy upon seeing the sparks,Their breasts tightened with deep sighs and moans.The light of a lamp with a sooty glass globe,Was etching unhappy lines on everybody’s face.The lines on the faces and around the eyes,Became deeper and darker like the letters of the Koran...There was a murky wall by the side of my bed,Its surface was covered with jumbled words and lines.Whoever slept here had left perishable traces,Amorous, languid ballads, licentious drawings...I tried to sleep early at the end of this gloomy day,But unable to close my eyes I kept gazing at the wall.Suddenly my eyes were glowing with a few red lines,But these were not verses they were four drops of blood.As I tried to decipher the strange designs on the wall,I had encountered a fellow poet:It’s been ten years since I’ve left K
ı
nada
ğ
Far from father’s house far from the bosom of the belovedWithout picking a flower from the garden of loveI was thrown from one side of the border to the otherUnderneath a date: March eight, thirty seven…
1
I could not see a name in the place for signature.Oh, friend! do not complain your luck is better now,Today there’s no front, no conscription, no war.Do not mourn over losing your youth,Your war front valor is good forever.The next day the journey started before the sunrise,A cold March morning every breath was frozen.Before the first flames of dawn could light the horizon,The last houses of the town were already behind us.The day became dark with clouds before it could rise,The burial mounds looked like mountains from a distance...The sluggish caravans made their way slowly,Old inns stood like proud feudal chieftains.
1
(1337-1921?)
 
In these endless roads we were coming nearer and nearer,To a pass squeezed between two mountains.While a brisk north wind made my insides shiver,I was happily surprised as we crossed over the pass.Though the places we came from were approaching spring,The land in front of us was covered with snow.This pass seemed to separate spring from winter,Here the last storm was breaking the last branches.As our carriage consumed the roads with the same speed,The snow started to be scattered all around us.The snow buried everything in a white darkness,This wasn’t the snow but a white death coming from heavens.When the hope of reaching the village faded in my mind,The carter bellowed: “Here’s Arapl
ı
Beli!”God help those who are still traveling!We arrived at our destination and hauled the horses in.Three, four fellows who had arrived here ahead of us,Were sitting cross-legged in front of the fire place.The crackling branches added more life to the company,Some were telling wolf stories some tales about the bandits...While the mists of heavy sleep settled before my eyes,The reflections from the fire shimmered like flowers.Lighting up the lines on the wall,Making these couplets enter my heart like flames.Even if I desire the image of my belovedI’ve got no strength to cross the mountainI’m a traveler like a dry leaf Drifting in front of the windIn the morning the sky was bright the horizon clear,Our carriage took to the road on a sunny day.Traveling on this road from one exile to the next,I could see the change of three seasons in three days.After a long journey we arrived at an inn in Incesu,Dog tired soon fell into sweet sleep.At the sunrise I woke up with a dream of death,And burned with these lines over the head of my bed!I’m forlorn they call me KeremThe stranger they say took away my Ash’I’m sick they say it’s consumption

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