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Poems of Oktay Rifat

Oktay Rifat

Translated by Ruth Christie and Richard McKane

Imprint: Anvil Press Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (256 pages)
(Pub. Jul 2007)
Out of Stock
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    She gave up the grocer and butcher
    she slipped past the greengrocer
    she took up with the market
    and wire basket in hand
    she looks at the mushrooms the meats
    at the foreign cheeses
    with two packets of bulgur
    a pound of minced meat
    she undulates home
    to her house down the street
    thinking how good
    how good to be alive
    how good the world!

    Translated by Ruth Christie

    For half a century Oktay Rifat occupied a leading position in the vanguard of Turkish poetry. Despite his popularity and fame he rarely appeared in public, preferring the private life of an ordinary family man and content to work as an attorney while continuing to write. This generous selection exemplifies Rifat’s insistence that ‘poetry must be read and must be readable.’ It draws on all phases of his work, from the early iconoclasm and later neo-surrealism to the mature period in which innovation blends with folk traditions, creating poetry rich in feeling and thought.

    Oktay Rifat
    Oktay Rifat (1914–1988) was born in Trezibond on the Black Sea, the son of a Turkish MP. After studying law at Ankara University and in Paris before the Second World War, he became a lawyer and worked for most of his life as a legal adviser for Turkish State Railways. He ... read more
    Ruth Christie
    Ruth Christie was born and educated in Scotland. She studied Turkish at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. She has taught English literature and has been translating novels, short stories and poetry from the Turkish for many years. She has jointly translated with Richard McKane extensive selections from ... read more
    Richard McKane
    Richard McKane is a poet and the translator of Selected Poems of Anna Akhmatova and, with Elizabeth McKane, of Mandelstam’s The Moscow Notebooks and The Voronezh Notebooks . Anvil has published The Pillar of Fire, his selection from the poetry of Nikolay Gumilyov. He has jointly translated with Ruth Christie ... read more
    Awards won by Oktay Rifat Commended, 2007 Poetry Book Society (PBS): Choice - Autumn (Poems of Oktay Rifat)
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