Some lines in this deceptively simple poem – such as the first four and the final couplet – were quite straightforward to translate. If you look at Canan’s literal version, you can see we didn’t change very much at all, apart from some vocabulary. But lines five and six were quite difficult to unpick because of the syntactical differences between Turkish and English, and also because of the complexity of Karin’s thought in those lines. Lines seven and eight also took a while for us to grasp. That said, the poem now looks very clear in its final version and is another example of how well Karin’s poems translate into English. One of her greatest strengths is the way she is able to posit such complex moral and philosophical issues with such apparent ease – as though what she is saying is inevitably true.
Sarah Maguire, Workshop Facilitator