- Whichever neighborhood has no clergyman
- I shall die there.
- Let no one see how beautiful
- Are all the things I have, my feet, my hair.
- In the name of the dead, free and immaculate,
- A fish in unknown seas,
- Am I not a Muslim, heaven knows,
- Yet no crowds for me, please.
- Don’t let them make me wear a shroud,
- In sky safeguard my darkness from misery,
- Don’t shake me as I go from shoulder to shoulder,
- For all my parts are fancy free.
- No prayer can turn my remoteness
- From the other worlds into a reality.
- Don’t let them wash my body, don’t:
- I am madly in love with the warmth inside me.
— by Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlarca (trans. Talat Sait Halman)
Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlarca (1914–2008) was a prolific and celebrated Turkish poet with more than 60 collections of verse to his name. His insistence on a purist approach to the Turkish language brought a sense of renewal to Turkish literature and focused on philosophical, theological, and political themes. As a testament to his popularity and despite his request in “Dead,” his funeral was not held in private — but became a public affair of state. The wake and funeral ceremony were held in an opera house in Istanbul, attended by a crowd of Turkish politicians and military officers as well as family and Turkey’s literati.