Thursday, 23 July 2015

POET OF THE MONTH #30: Ayten Mutlu

c 2005


between the earth and sky tiny houses
murmuring rooms, half-open windows
utensils, chairs, a weary table
small habits, worn-out tastes
a handful of dust, an afternoon shadow
and time sitting proudly in a corner seat

between walls familiar to one another
so many belongings, so much anguish, so little love
a little bit of salt taken from the sea, a light-hearted feeling
from the sun, a kiss, a laugh
whispers, the mist on the flowers in the vase
and the smell of death
pervading the moment's haste

between the earth and sky a gathering of souls
a cup of wrath, immense grief
screams, entreaties, deep silence
and this thirst for life
which keeps flowing
and flowing
hitting against the veins of tiny houses


Translated by SUAT KARANTAY 
(Member of Turkish PEN)

The Poet:  Ayten Mutlu was born in the western Turkish port city of Bandirma on 6 October 1952 and began writing poetry and stories at the age of ten.  She has been politically active since 1967 when she became a vocal proponent of the Womens' Rights movement in her homeland.

Mutlu was educated at Yilidiz Technical University and Istanbul University, from which she graduated with a degree in Financial Management in 1975.  After gaining her degree she took a position with the Central Bank of Turkey, from which she recently retired in order to devote herself exclusively to writing poetry, prose, short stories and works of literary criticism in addition to translating modern English poems into Turkish.  She has also translated many poems by various female poets of antiquity into her native language.

Her first collection of poetry, titled Dayan ey Sevdam [Resist O My Love], appeared in 1984 and she continued to publish regularly throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium with a volume of her selected poems, titled Atesin Köklerinde [In Roots of Fire], appearing in 2006.  'Her poetry,' one critic wrote of her work, 'reflects a struggle within herself, as well as a view of the world in which all horror and beauty are seen at once and often intermingled.'

Click HERE to read more translated poems by AYTEN MUTLU and other Turkish poets at the Turkish Language Class website.

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  1. Excellent, congratulations!

    Niculina Oprea

  2. @neli

    Thank you very much, Niculina. I hope you'll be glad to know that you'll be "Poet of the Month" for March 2018.

    Those who can't wait that long can read more of your excellent and moving poetry at

    Thanks again for posting a comment. Reader feedback is always greatly appreciated.