Metin Cengiz

Metin Cengiz

Metin Cengiz is a poet and a 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 Digraf 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 International 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 attended numerous International festivals and symposiums.


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)


Where, and when I forgot.
Grasses were torrid and trees
Were melting within their shadows.
The wind was drinking blow in its arrack.
Nor remembrance of wild roses
Neither the songs of crickets
There was only her voice in my ears.
Only her eyes drag on the steppe.
The horizon was crimsoning
And the sun was playing with her brightness.
Yet this summer I met with her.
Yet this summer I saw that I have a heart.
But she was composing another song
Another song which life sets to music for herself.

© Translation Volkan Hacıoğlu 2010


As if we hadn’t lived at all what we’ve lived
And we hadn’t spoken of what we’ve spoken
The sea in the sleep and the moon hanging down the trees
          still stand in the past.
As if so many days are frozen in the depth of winter.
As if we hadn’t quarrelled like kids
And we hadn’t loved each other to the death.
We laugh we weep we dream…
What is working is like the time of death
Others are like the other truth
What happened before is still going on
But we are not the same anymore

© Translation Volkan Hacıoğlu 2010-2011


I got to know you on a winter day
you were unrolling question marks
everybody’s love except mine

there were boulevards, footprints on your face
your heart nourished with love full of sorrow
like the midday sun
seen this done that except me

everybody’s far away now you are my hearth only
we are the ones blooming in winter
sorrow in its own ashes

© Translation Mustafa Ziyalan


Come on my friend, forget the water flows
The water waves, the water calms down, the water
Is the cloud fallen over the ground

What is a cloud my friend, the sky is too long
The rain, the storm, then the sun
Then the question if we studied life at school
Then the flour that someone turns from wheat.

That’s so my friend it starts like a horse rearing up
How hard it is that life resembles race
Water flows, water flows and water flows
The stones look at it when they turn to sand

Life my friend is a ball of thread turned into a mess!
And sweaty, a horse about to crack

Does the ash come into mouth or its soul
How does the grass endure the lack of tongue, oh prophet

Life is the most complicated brother of death
And a human is the neighing of a horse towards the sky
The sound of a feast left from the stone age
An inn that a refugee shelters in.
We called it life, we lived as if we drink raki
So that the waist of unscrupulous bourgeois is broken
The time sieved us, burned the fate harmed
Enraged the rabies wolf in our country called fascism

Life is without mercy İlhami, the truth is bitter
The wind blows, the wind blows and the wind blows
The life turns into a ball of flame, the life of Muslims
Neither word İlhami nor the demons of the word is left

(So which master by which action
Throws the crown into streets?)

Life is like water İlhami, it is not held.
What rests in our hands is an astringent taste
Clocks strike, clocks strike and clocks strike
Check and mate is left to the clumsiest player.

My brother who shields with his own body to these
Now you are a light on the road, you are a sign.

I have written about a photo by reading a face
The past is near İlhami the future is far.

© Translation Müesser Yeniay

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Published with the permission of Metin Cengiz