Koray Feyiz

A Turkish poet, born in Istanbul in 1961, Koray Feyiz studied Geodesy and Photogrammetry Engineering, and Urban Planning, at Karadeniz Technical University, and at Middle East Technical University. He completed his doctoral dissertation on Urban Psychology. Feyiz is currently engaged in research on Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing.

His first published poem appeared in one of Turkey’s most prestigous literary magazines, Varlık, in 1987. His poems and prose essays have continued to appear in numerous Turkish literary magazines over the last two decades. He has also published seven collections of his poetry: Mezarlar Eskimedi (The Graveyard is Not Exhausted, İz, 1987), Bir Mektupta İki Yalnızlık (Two Solitudes in One Letter, Engin, 1988), Ben O Issız O Yorgun Şehir (I Am a Desolate, Exhausted City, Prospero, 1995), Uhrevi Zorba (The Metaphysical Autocrat, Urun, 1995), DüşleGelen (To You Who Arrived in a Dream, Suteni, 1995), Seni Bağışladım Çünkü Beni Çok Üzdün (Cause of My Grief, I Forgive You, Hera, 1999) and Su Yarası (Wounded by the Water, Artshop 2010)

Two Sea Poems


To this at all times eternal blue sea
I have always wished to return as a grain of sand
Yet hit every shoreline like a wave.
I wanted to dwell in a wavelet
Isolated as a stone, content and peaceful in its simplicity,
Though often as not lonely in its rebelliousness,
Proud of existing for others,
Yet putting itself across just as it is.

It will be standing in front of a cinema
when people flood in and out,
and when passersby look for a shadow,
it would be there at one end of it
and forevermore.

In this at all times eternal blue sea,
Time, like a wounded barge
is walking with a limp.
Dead seawall, blind eye of the sky,
our hearts are trembling, each like the wick of a lamp.
Concrete is satisfying its thirst for the rain’s freshness,
the city, for water. Water from the kind of rain
that doesn’t come gushing down.
It is only drizzling.

On this at all times eternal blue sea,
when morning comes I take a seat in latticework
woven with memories. Love is gone,
departed forever, every flower
has withered away along with its own color,
and I tumble into the depths
of my childish ocean like a heavy stone.


Birds no longer perch among the leaves of this walnut tree
When the fog horn sits cooling off within its shadow.
I think the sea will one day bring
huge breakers to these shores now washed by little waves.
Each wavelet retreats only to summon another wave
to return to this shore again and again.

Since you have gone and taken the sea with you,
leaving me this darkness, no birds come by
to fill up my mornings in the courtyard of my loneliness.
No fog horns are sounding
but a fog emerges nonetheless
to steal down into me.
And I think, since I am surrounded
but unable to find a flat sea
or bedrock to push against
I haven’t managed to be an open sea
moving back and forth in ecstasy.

Koray Feyiz
© Translated by Nesrin Eruysal & Kenneth Rosen
First published in Söyleşi Poetry Quarterly


I say don’t grieve, birds will come back one day
Filled with hope and carrying the wind on the pillion.
Birds will come back
And so will you. You will find a croissant
On your window sill, the scent of flowers
That you have been longing for
Gathered in your palms, and you will come back to me.
One day, filled with hope and birds on the wind’s pillion,
You will shed your exile
On the harborside quay of my eyes. Wooden crates
Will cast anchor. My mischievous words
Embark at full sail towards hope.

Such are my painful solitudes,
My loves turned loose to range at will like horses.
Yesterday I walked through Kumrular Street.
No birds were there. I have never forgotten them, though.
And you really should remember them sometimes.
Birds have begun to diminish in numbers.
Trees are deaf, branches and leaves are blind.
Remember the poem Behçet wrote about birds,
He loved birds, don’t forget.
So did Orhan Gürayman when he was alive.

Maybe one day Behçet will come back,
The fairy tale of our youth a slice of sky
Breaking out of his forehead. Where is the photo
Whose empty frame hangs on an old dirty wall, the one
Taken of us in the prison ward?
Where is the courtyard of our hearts, the one opening onto melancholy?
Don’t grieve. Birds will come back one day,
And you will come back to me, with rain in your saddlebag.

The river held back by patience does not overflow its banks,
Its lifetime spent in yearning for the sea. What’s more,
An autumn whose leaves yearn for branches
Cannot be your life, your life
Like a spring that children drink water from.
You know I love the yellow of autumn,
Or waiting for night to fall on a window’s yellow pane
Single-masted boats: they were nonexistent,
Yet I know a poem whose title was “Single-Masted.”

Everbody waits for something, some
For those lost along the way,
Some to be a river delta.
Dreams are false, and yet dreams—dreams
Are all those that I’ve loved, let go by my heart.

Koray Feyiz
© Translated by Nesrin Eruysal & Kenneth Rosen
First published in Söyleşi Poetry Quarterly

Published with the permission of Koray Feyiz