Poetry: Broken Breath by Haydar Ergülen

The latest addition of Modern Poetry in Translation, The Constellation, arrived a few weeks ago. In celebration of some fantastic translated poems I give you this to enjoy:

Broken Breath by Haydar Ergülen (translated by Derick Mattern)

This my heart was: I snatched it from
a broken verb in the new Turkish
thoughts run to wanderlust like a fan spinning in place
don’t rush, my heart, there’s time enough

this my heart was: I plunged into the lament
of a child outgrowing the back garden
yesterday’s wickedness comes to light, addled with lust
I cheated on myself for your sake

this my heart was: in an old story
I stole a weary angel’s transgression
a sin so obvious that punishment’s pointless
I was written as fire to the ashes of words

this my heart was: when I arrived there
a house of burning reeds was above me still
that lie made it to the water and the physician is to blame
don’t fall behind, my heart, I’ve had enough of you

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4 thoughts on “Poetry: Broken Breath by Haydar Ergülen

  1. This is beautiful. I don’t read as much poetry as I’d like, I’ve always been a fan of e.e.cummings but have barely ventured out of that comfort zone. Who are your favorite poets?


    1. I don’t read as much as I’d like either, I just sort of dip in and out of it. I’d say Keats, Maya Angelou, and e.e. cummings, are favourites I think. I have found doing these posts that I have favourite poems rather than poets, as I am trying to discover as many new poets as possible.


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