Bir fakir Orhan Veli'yim;
Tarifsiz kederler içinde.
Oturmuş da bir türkü tutturmuşum;
"İstanbulun mermer taşları;
Başıma da konuyor, konuyor aman, martı kuşları;
Gözlerimden boşanır hicran yaşları;
Senin yüzünden bu halim."
"İstanbulun orta yeri sinama;
Garipliğim, mahzunluğum duyurmayın anama;
El konuşur, sevişirmiş; bana ne?
Bir fakir Orhan Veli;
Tarifsiz kederler içindeyim.
† 14.11.1950, Turkey
Orhan Veli was one of the most innovative poets in 20th-century Turkish Literature. He left Istanbul University in 1935 without having completed his studies. He worked in the Ankara Post Office until he was called up during World War II. On his discharge in 1945 he obtained a post as translator in the Ministry of Education but left his job after less than two years to lead a bohemian life.
His first poems were published in journals when he was a high school student. In 1941, he published a poem book entitled Garip/The Stranger with his high school friends, the poets Oktay Rifat and Melih Cevdet Anday, which launched a major poetry movement in the Turkish poetry tradition.
His legacy was that free verse, and an unlimited range of themes became the rule, while traditional meter became an anachronism. While discarding rhyme and meter, Orhan Veli expresses an almost nihilistic world view that placed him firmly in the company of the modern western man.
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