Talat on a Rope

By Alexander Dawe


talat on a rope

in the asylum garden

as a eunuch in the

gulistan clips


the grand vizier looks out

a dark window

an odalisque cries in the

the seraglio and 

a capillary is the 


kingdom of god

on a rope, swaying 

in balat a coppersmith

hammers hard, 




sings odes to 

houris and hours

in this desperate hour

when the smell of do 

is spoken word fractured into 

worlds, analysis or 


a language in me

yaltak lan 

dın dın dın

went the heartbeat in halat

dın dın dın 

went the echo

at the end of the line


Alexander Dawe has translated many contemporary Turkish novels, including Endgame by Ahmet Altan and Women Who Blow on Knots by Ece Temelkuran. In collaboration with Maureen Freely he has translated A Useless Man by Sait Faik Abasıyanık, The Time Regulation Institute by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, which received the MLA Lois Roth Award, and Madonna in a Fur Coat by Sabahattin Ali. In 2010, he received a PEN/Heim translation Fund grant to translate the short stories of Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar. He lives and works on one of the Prince’s Islands in Istanbul.