A masterpiece by a prominent 20th-century Turkish poet became the second most widely-read poem in the world, according to a Berlin-based multi-lingual poetry platform.
Orhan Veli Kanik attracted the second-most poetry readers in the worlds, Lyrikline found, with his landmark poem “Anlatamiyorum”.
Meanwhile, the most widely-read poem in the world was Stufen, written by a German-born poet Hermann Hesse.
Each year, Lyrikline announces annual statistics on poems, poets at the Berlin Poetry Festival held in June.
Kanik was born in Istanbul on April 15, 1914.
He enrolled in a philosophy program at Istanbul University but dropped out to work as a civil servant and translator.
He used the pen name Mehmet Ali Sel to write poems for six literary magazines.
Kanik is one of the founders of a movement called Garip, meaning ‘strange’, and had a huge influence especially between the years 1945-1950 on Republican era Turkish verse.
His Garip movement is considered a milestone in Turkish poetry as he cast off traditional craft in favor of more simple verses.
Kanik died of a brain aneurysm on Nov. 14, 1950, after falling down a manhole in Ankara.
The translation of Anlatamiyorum from Lyrikline website is as follows:
ANLATAMIYORUM (I CAN’T EXPLAIN)
If I cried, could you hear
My voice in my poems,
Could you touch my tears
With your hands?
Before I fell prey to this grief,
I never knew songs were so enchanting
And words so mild.
I know there’s a place
Where you can talk about everything;
I feel I’m close to that place,
Yet I can’t explain
Lyrikline brings together the text of the poem, the poet’s voice, the rhythm and sound of the poem, and translations into other languages, according to the website of Haus fur Poesie, which runs the website.
The platform for contemporary poetry features more than 1375 poets, 12,312 poems, 84 languages and 18,000 translations.
Initiated in 1999 by the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, lyrikline has since 2003 been based on international cooperation.