Pirhasan graduated from the Department of English Language and Literature at Bogazici University.
His poetry collections are Tarih Kotudur (History Is Evil / 1981) and Imzasız El Yazıları (Anonymous Manuscripts / 1985)
Being granted a scholarship from the British Council, Pirhasan studied Film and TV Directing at the National Film and Television School in England between 1989-1992.He holds national and international awards with his films and screenplays.
Pirhasan is one of the most remarkable translators with his translations of Karl Marx, Lewis Carroll, Constantine Cavafy, Walter Scott, e.e. cummings, Leonard Cohen.
To view a translation of Pirhasan’s poem “Martılar” [Seagulls] by Jean Carpenter-Efe, click here.
Below is a translation of his poem “Aşkla Kedi Arasındaki Yedi Benzerlik” (Seven Similarities Between Love and a Cat) translated by Başak Ergil to be published in the literary translation magazine Çevirmenin Notu in 2009.
SEVEN SIMILARITIES BETWEEN LOVE AND A CAT
Love is an untamed beast
It nests upon broken hearts,
hunts with kisses and candles
That untamed beast called love,
with a lust for human company,
long expelled from the jungle,
flaunts the dark delicacy of its fur
that calls for a stroke,
a stroke of the past,
the past and beyond…
The time of a fairy tale… of Goblins and Sultans…
All else is doomed to fade.
All that has culminated in your soul.
The wits and the wisdom.
All else but the bee
Buzzing past the open window to make you ignore
What you’ve just gained or what you have lost.
That untamed beast called love
Has a Cheshire grin and eyes shut tight,
And cushioned pads within its paws
Piercing your sleep constantly with five sharp bones.
Now you are in the jungle
Right by the edge of the cliff,
What glitters deep in the flow
Is not pure water.
It is the burning phosphorus within your abyss-bound fall,
yells and screams.
It was just a nightmare.
And no more.
That untamed beast called love is a runaway
Lord, what have I done to offend it…
How come have I left the door open…
Is there a photo… Is it tramping on a wall…
What if it’s run over…
“Is it spayed? If it’s back, do it…”
Not indoors though…. Off to the jungle…
Will it be back…
One night that untamed beast called love,
what music was on, how could it have heard,
turns up purring on and on at your door
its fur tangled and matted…
so hungry… so cold…
just like you… yearning… hug me… ohh, my joyyy…
As for the sound and fury of the city,
Let it remain forever beyond our walls…
That untamed beast called love is asleep
It has slept for days and nights on end
“Nothing serious” insists the vet with a smile
“These guys are also at times depressed…
Might as well be the side effect of the surgery
You did it for its own good
It’ll all be gone…” But it won’t!
A ten-drop dose into its water… its toys…
That untamed beast called love
how it gave birth when all was about to end
Deep scratches on the walls, a woollen jumper
Ripped and torn
“What happened to your face?” Alcohol… it does no good…
Chemicals… morning exercises… sleep…
Now I realize
the meaningless chaos we’re in,
the jungle that we take refuge
and call our homes…
A silly sun is left on,
dooming you to sleeplessness,
When you get rid of that untamed beast called love,
it has taken the night away
Its hair on your pillow, in your mouth, down your throat
An empty water bowl… its favourite cushion…
Must be out hunting again… and again…
At dinner tables where kisses and candles burn.
You search in vain.
The vet has made the final remark:
“Alas! These guys live shorter, you know…”