a picture, an image.
Has – ret. A small word
in the waters
over the bridge.
A bridge? From here to there
to me it is hasret. Mine.
- Hasret means nostalgia, longing. I saw it in a title of a song and I loved how it sounded. I have to thank Merve Oflaz who introduced me to this composer and Dincer Demir who gave me the exact definition of the word.
Here is the music and its title that inspired the poem:
The Bosphorus (Photo taken by Vicky Loras)
Written by Vicky Loras
New air, new sky.
Grey and rain.
Hüzün1? No, bliss.
When eyes are lost in the waters
of the Bosphorus
in the smiles
of the simit2 seller,
the old woman in the street
in busy Taksim.
a half moon.
There’s one over ğ;
and göğü gördüm5.
A million thanks to Ece Sevgi who read it so beautifully! Listen to it here:
1. hüzün = melancholy, longing. It is a word which is mentioned very often in Orhan Pamuk’s book Istanbul - it is also heard in songs and poems. It is a sad word, but I love how it sounds.
2. simit = a bagel usually covered in sesame seeds and which you can buy practically everywhere.
3. dağ [dah] = mountain
4. ağaç [ah - ach] = tree
5. göğü gördüm [gyoo-ooh gyoor-dim] = I saw the sky
I tried to find three words that included that special letter ğ and that were also related to what I saw during my trip to Istanbul. That was a hard feat. I hope I managed to convey the images.
Somehow, the little half moon over the letter ğ reminded me of the crescent on the Turkish flag.
Many many thanks to Ece Sevgi, for helping me find a phrase that made sense and included the word sky.
Local station – photo taken by @sandymillin (from #eltpics)
It is time on the blog for another poem, read by the fantastic Mieke Kenis. Thank you so much, Mieke, for giving it exactly the emotion I wanted it to have!
I wrote this one in 1999, when I was twenty years old.
A Traveller’s Journal
Pebbles on the beach, photo taken by @sandymillin (eltpics)
It has been about two months since I last posted and I return with another poetry reading by the amazing Mieke Kenis, based in Belgium – listen to her reading it, she is fantastic! Some of you remember her reading Hair and Ascending.
One of the greatest Greek poets, Constantine Cavafy, wrote one of his most well-known poems under the same title: Ithaca by Constantine Cavafy
I have borrowed the title, as all of us, at some point of our lives, are looking for our own Ithaca like Ulysses (Odysseus) was in Greek mythology.
Many many thanks to Mieke, who has given the poem a new life, a lot of feelings and her own wonderful way of reading it.
Ithaca – A poem by Vicky Loras, read by Mieke Kenis
Brad Patterson, originally from the US and located in France, is a fantastic person I have the honour to call a friend and a great educator. Brad writes a blog where he shares a lot of his love for etymology and writes about many topics which make us all think.Brad and his company Edulang have started a great initiative called Pay What You Want. Definitely worth looking at and contributing to!
I am very fortunate to have Brad read this poem, which I wrote when I was 20 years old. He has rendered it so beautifully…but enough from me – over to Brad! Thank you so so much!
Gypsy – Read by Brad Patterson
Here is another of my poems, one I wrote for my sister Gina when I was 20 years old – and once again I am honoured to have the wonderful Mieke Kenis read it and give life to it with her beautiful voice. Thank you so much again, Mieke!
Ascending – Read by Mieke Kenis
I am very happy that a very good friend, James Taylor, has accepted to read another poem I have written. James is a super person and educator who lives in Belgium.
I was very happy and fortunate to meet him in person here in Zug two months ago and then see him again in Paris almost two weeks ago!
Read his super blog! James has some great educational ideas there.
A big thank you to James for giving a tone of hope to this poem, which I had never seen before. Listen to his recording here.
It all started last night when Mieke Kenis, a super person and educator from Belgium, and I were chatting about how we both love poetry – Mieke told me she reads poems sometimes and records them on Audioboo. I love her voice and the way she reads. So then I told her that I (think I) write poems, so I recorded my poem Hair on Audioboo. Mieke listened to it and returned me the nicest present ever – herself reading Hair, in the absolutely most beautiful way. She gave such life to my poem, it really moved me and I thank her so very much for that. Here is the recording of Mieke reading it so beautifully:
Hair - Read by Mieke Kenis, Written by Vicky Loras
Thank you so much, Mieke!
* Mieke has started a blog.