ZIYA OSMAN SABA
(1910 - 1957)
Istanbul, I see you still;
from far away my eyes embrace
your many minarets and houses,
your roads and open space.
Straight down the Bosphorus comes the sound
of ferryboat departing from a quay.
The snow-white Maiden's Tower still stands
above blue sea.
Cool mornings of one bank,
my native shores, my Besiklas!
I see again my many neighbourhoods
where I was five, fifteen. oh twenty years of age!
These are the places I count dear,
they hold me by the hands.
My father lies in Kucuksu.
Eyupsultan holds my mother's earth.
Before me runs the Bosphorus with open arms for
Rumelihisar change at Cengelkoy;
Istanbul, my Istanbul,
Uskudar- and Kadikoy --
I accept the life for which I came into the world.
I accept my white hands and the tint of my eyes;
Man and woman, married or bachelor or widowed;
Above ground I accept roving around
And death and decay in the ground
I accept all forms of life:
The face that frowns and the tongue that is angly,
I accept the miserable and the hungry.
Chattel to men
And serf to God.
Continents and oceans, domeful of skies:
I accept I accept I accept.