Bejan Matur, the Mystic-Inspired Poet

Bejan Matur is a Kurdish author born in Kahramanmaraş of Turkish Kurdistan, writing mainly about Kurdish politics, the Armenian issue, daily politics, minority problems, prison literature, and women issues.

Bejan Matur
Bejan Matur

Matur currently runs a cultural foundation called Diyarbakir Cultural Art Foundation which is placed in Diyarbakir. She also conducts social projects with children, women and the youths who were displaced from their villages.

The 47 year-old poet studied Law at Ankara University, but she never practiced it. In her university years, reviewers found her poetry dark and mystic.

Among her 9 books, her last one: “Leaving of Abraham”, published in 2008, is considered by critics as her best book ever. There she created a personal ontology and a personal mythology inspired by Sufi tradition.

In May 2009, she published an album-book called: “The Gate of East: Diyarbakir”. This book was considered to be one of the best books ever written about an Anatolian city.

She also engaged with the PKK to write a book called: “Looking Behind the Mountain” which was published in February 2011. Matur went to the steep Qandeel Mountains, where PKK units are located. She did so in order to conduct interviews with the guerrillas fighting the Turkish Army. The book is the first attempt to display the personal stories and traumas of the Kurdish fighters engaged in that war.

We have chosen one of Matur poets for our readers both in Turkish and English:

CEREMONIAL ROBES

In the cold decayed

heart of these lands

I saw eyes.

Everyone was there with their voice

and their body’s pose.

We know someone best while making love,

when we corrode our hearts together.

Growing heavy, our body

wakes us in the night.

Houses with courtyards are like graves.

Childhood is a sleep, long-lasting.

And a yearning to touch,

a yearning drags us towards death.

Photo by Rawen Pasha
Photo by Rawen Pasha

I tested myself in every body,

I abandoned myself in every city.

I took the skies of countries to my heart

and when I saw the emptiness of my heart,

I said, it’s time to go.

Inside the moldering robes of ceremony

roots sway on the hanger.

Even if we drop fire in the sea

it will burn for ever,

it burns, a gift of desolation to the dark.

Perhaps history is a mistake says the poet

mankind’s a mistake says god.

Much later,

in a future corrupt as the heart of these lands,

mankind’s a mistake says god,

I’m here to correct it

but too late.

The wave of red lifeless water,

the road followed at night,

the poor earth strewn with travelers,

the white swaying shrouds,

ceremonial robes.

The only thing needed for a race

is the horse’s mane.

This is the truth,

now we are here

rotted away in a rut.

God must not see the letters of my script.

Mankind’s a mistake, he keeps saying.

And to correct his mistake

he gives sorrow,

only sorrow.

February 1997 Berlin

This poem was translated by Ruth Christie from the original poem in Turkish:

Photo by Rawen Pasha
Photo by Rawen Pasha

TÖREN GİYSİLERİ

Çürümüş donuk kalbinde bu toprakların

Gözleri gördüm.

Herkes sesiyle vardı

Ve duruşuyla gövdesinin.

Bir insanı en iyi sevişirken tanırız.

Kalbimizi birlikte çürütürken.

Ağırlaşan gövdemiz

Gece uyandırır.

Mezar gibidir avlulu evler.

Çocukluk bir uykudur. Uzun sürer.

Ve dokunmak için bir arzu

Bir arzu sürükler bizi ölüme.

Ben kendimi sınadım her gövdede

Ben kendimi bıraktım her şehirde

İçime aldım göğünü ülkelerin

Ve boşluğunu görünce kalbimin

Gitmeli dedim.

Çürümüş tören giysileri içinde

Askıda salınan kökler.

Biz denize düşürsek de ateşi

O hep yanar.

Issızlık bahşeder karanlığa. Yanar.

Tarih bir yanılgı olabilir diyor şair

İnsan bir yanılgıdır diyor tanrı.

Çok sonra

Bu toprakların kalbi kadar

Çürümüş bir sonrada

İnsan bir yanılgıdır diyor tanrı.

Ve düzeltmek için varım

Ama geciktim.

Ölü kızıl suyun dalgası

Gece yürünen yol

Ve yolcuların dağıldığı zavallı yeryüzü

Salınan beyaz kefenler

Tören giysileri.

Ve bir koşu için gerekli tek şey

Atın yelesidir.

Aslolan,

Şimdi ve burada

Çürüyüp kaldık.

Tanrı görmesin harflerimi

İnsan bir hata diyor durmadan

Ve hatasını düzeltmek için

Acı veriyor

Sadece acı.

 Şubat 1997, Berlin

Advertisements