Metin Cengiz

Metin Cengiz

Metin Cengiz: poet and writer (b. 3 May 1953, Göle). He attended to Göle primary School (1964), Kars Alparslan High School (1972) and graduated from Erzurum Atatürk University, Faculty of Basic Sciences and Foreign Languages, Department of French (1977). During his years at the university, he worked as a civil officer at the Turkish Statistical Institute for a short time (1973). Meanwhile, he completed his studies at Marmara University, Department of French.

After working as a teacher in Muş, he resigned from his duty, returned back to İstanbul and began to work as a proofreader, editor and translator at publishing houses. He wrote particularly on the problems of poetry in the reviews Hurriyet Gösteri, Varlık and in various newspapers. He established the Şiirden Publishing House in 2005, in collaboration with his friends, to publish poems and essays concerning poetry theory.

He won the Behçet Necatigil Poetry Award in 1966 with his book Şarkılar Kitabı (The Book of Songs), Melih Cevdet Anday Poetry Award in 2010 with his book Bütün Şiirleri 1 (Collected poems 1), Bütün Şiirleri 2 (collected poems 2) and Tudor Arghezi İnternational Poetry Award  in 2011 (Romanya). He is a member of Writers Syndicate of Turkey, the Association of Turkish PEN Writers and the Turkish Authors Association.

His poems are translated into several languages such as French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Bosnian, Russian, Romanian, Arabic, Hebrew, Azerbaijani, Serbian, and Kurdish. His selected poems are published in French with the title Apres le Tempete et Autres Poemes (2006, Harmattan). Levant Magazine published his eight poems along with their Turkish under the title “Divan” (2009). In Romania his poems are published in magazines Convorbiri Literare and Poesia (2011). He edited the Anthology titled Çağdaş 17 Türk Şairi is published by Harmattan Publishing (2009). He organized several international festivals in Yalova, Çanakkale and Nicosia. Now he has been advising Eskişehir International Poetry Festival. He attended numerous International festivals and symposiums.

His poetry benefits from tradition by challenging it, reflects the realities of the modern world and tries to elaborate them in dept with the realities of life as reflected from his internal world. Being known with his articles on poetry in his early period, the poet has become one of the pioneers of the period after 1980, with his theoretical articles and discussions on poetry. Some of these articles were published in a book titled Şiirin Gücü (The Power of Poetry, 1993)

POETRY: Bir Tufan Sonrası (After A Deluge, 1988), Büyük Sevişme (The Great Love, 1980), Zehirinde Açan Zambak (The Lilly that Bloom in its Poison, 1991), İpek’a (To İpek, 1993), Şarkılar Kitabı (The Books of Songs, 1995), Gençlik Çağı (Juvenille Years, 1998), Aşk İlahileri&Günümüze Hüzzamlar (Hymnes Of Love &The Hüzzam Compositions Today, 2005), Özgürlük Şiirleri (poems of freedom), Bütün Şiirleri 1 (Collected poems 1), Bütün Şiirleri 2 (Collected poems 2), İmgeler Benim Yurdum (2011) (Images are my home).

ESSAY-CRITICISM-STUDY: Şiirin Gücü (The Pover of Poetry, 1993; second edition 2006), 1923-1953 Toplumcu Gerçekçi Şiir (The Socialist-Realist Poetry between 1923-1953, 2000), Modernleşme ve Modern Şiirimiz (Modernism and Our Modern Poery, 2002), Şiir, Din ve Cinsellik (Poetry, Religion and Sexuality, 2005), Nâzım’dan 70’li Yıllara Türk Şiirine Eleştirel Bir Bakış (A Critical Essay on Turkish Poetry from Nâzım to 70’s, 2005), Şiir, Biçim, Biçem, Şiirin Teorik Sorunları (The Poetry, Forme, Style – Theoretical Problems of Poetry, 2005), Şiir, Dil, Şiir Dili ve Şiirsel Anlam (Poetry, Language, Language of Poetry and Poetic Meaning, 2006), Küreselleşme, Postmodernizm ve Edebiyat (Globalisation, Postmodernism and Literature, 2007), İmge Nedir? (What is image?), Kültür ve Şiir (Culture and poetry, 2010),Felsefe ve Şiir (Philosophy and poetry, 2010), Şiire ve Hayata Dair Denemeler (2011) (Essays on Poetry and Life), Cemal Sureya poetry (2012), Thought of poetry in Plato and Aristotle (2012).

INTERWIEW: Hayat, Edebiyat, Siyaset-Ahmet Oktay ile Dünden Bugüne (Life, Literature, Politics – with Ahmet Oktay from Yesterday to Today, 2005).


At times comes someone
Settles down into my heart
Surrounding my whole body
The iron protecting me melts

Utters words I’ve never heard
Telling me about myself
Whisks me far away
Upsetting my world

No, this is not the only thing i want to explain
This is someone else or you perhaps
But i understand in the end
I am the traveler of myself

Metin Cengiz
© Translated by Pınar Besen


How many ships I have seen in these lands sinking
Passangers lost their sea
And fishermen racing with fish
How many anguish and sorrow
The unlucky people grow up
Suckle with their blood hunger and thirst
Tired but happy like a child.

Spells have I seen stops desire
Spell that turns life car without brake
I have listened stories whose wind lean against bells
I never forget it seems a contagious illness anymore
And troublesome like the wars easily told.

But I have not seen something like love in these lands
It throws people into roads barefoot
It cripples

Metin Cengiz
© Translated by Müesser Yeniay


there is something on your face, a sky clearing up suddenly
it is raining again, on the trees, on the streets
I thing there is something smelling like a summer rose
it becomes more and more on the sun of your face

there is something else, unknown
poeple seems walking through a seraph
a river finds its own way breaking the night
running with beautiful colors of dreams

it must be something from old times
which comes to mind suddenly and then we forget
– maybe this is what we call love
a shuddering, a hot blood running on your smile

Metin Cengiz
© Translated by Tozan Alkan


What we live is like a dream
I used to say when I wake up in prison
Amid myriad of wars and defeats
And set to start to a rambling run

It seemed to me like a lost city
The sun in my dream, and the city,— its shadow
The city that as drunk glass by glass,
Then prisoners drum the day and stroke the string

Days went by beaten like an anvil
The cell ceased, but not the hammer

How many years of cruelty had passed by
As if trains flowed through tunnels

Trains mark the long ways through
The homeland is beyond distant times
The wind becomes far and least tidings
With this the iron turns to steal together

The death when our pals resing us
The death then is a communist republic

In my heart is the moarning of railway
My heart is the mist of disease called Love

I am a mountain sublime woebegone
Not the wind but the desert blows all around me

The way I bypass is howling of nothing
Now set myself to shoot at the head
Or live for tribal brotherhood
Even though upcoming years flash like a string

Coming sounds say that truth is in the life
Sweet to hear the sounds of drum and clarion

Metin Cengiz
© Translated by Volkan Hacıoğlu 2009-2010


Let’s say I set out with one way ticket
And streets that drink my sorrow won’t be wrong to me
Here is the tribe of goblins—
All of them are my friends so to speak
Here is the nihility to be true and the pulse of god
The country and the shadows of trees are superfluous

Leave me here without a tear
Pray in return with double rakah of Rakı
Pet the bug that shoots out of Rakı in memoriam
Set your feet quick time to the sirens sound within you
Do not stop and let the love be your kotow
If you remember me when you make love
Good appetite to you my souvenir

Let’s say I am an engraved tree without leaves and boughs
Let the hum of bugs be the music of nihility
Think of me as an immense sea
Think of me as a ship set to sail in the skylight
If god talks to me, only then I talk back
If god talks to me, only then I can hearken
If god hands to me, only then I can hand
He is the only one who can sweep my day and my night out of
my sight
Of course if I had eyes anymore

Metin Cengiz
© Translated by Volkan Hacıoğlu 2009-2010


I beheld the rainfall yesterday
The rain makes everything looks like sky
Everything hovers over in the air
As if frozen for a moment before it falls flat
In between earth and sky the mind bewildered
And hanged off like a flying bird

I caught a glimpse of you,—your glances, your body resembling rain
And dashed myself into the dreamlike rainfall, clinged to your body
Onlookers pittied the fool and said that guy must be crazy—
Then I shout: keep the mind for yourself but keep off the rainfall

The rain splashes on the soul, and its powerful drops
Sweep up the verses in the mind by whistling
Life is flooded out and your dear eyes
Your face are all flooded out
The past I remember on that bridge
Fists are in the air and demonstration
And then police baton, gendarme gunstock
Whatever true to life is left like a dream in that sealed dim distant

I behold the fire set by the rain on the streets with pleasure
The fire of rain left into human souls
Like love, like hope
We are on fireplace, and everywhere is on fire
I think life is such a thing
It squeezes my throat like steel
I stretch my hand out in the past
The rain holds my hand only on behalf of my ruined years
It turns into water, and flows
My fifty fourth age lost for the sake of a claim

The rain falls like a free folk song
As if avalanche falls on windows
Hinges of the world break off
And the sky lands as it pulls out its hair

Remember me my dear within this aura
Within the flame set by the rain
Within the fire left after on the streets
Remember me my dear in ruins

I am left in ruins for this world

Sundown is tired, sundown is sad, sundown is sole
Let it fall, let the world drink it to revive
And get up as if from a lethargic slumber

As I was a kid I saw how it feels like to be born
But now I just couldn’t make out death

This year rosebuds of this garden don’t bloom
Be my rain and washed by mine on the streets

I am the water flows over streets
Be my gully and my crowded face
Let me flow with you till the eternity

Metin Cengiz
© Translated by Volkan Hacıoğlu 2010

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Published with the permission of Metin Cengiz