The Death of Seyhan Erözçelik at Age 49

by on Aug.25, 2011

Montevidayans, I am very distressed to share with you the news of the death of Seyhan Erözçelik, who died yesterday at the shocking age of 49.

Although I had just begun to read his work, his dazzling, rupturing talent and his keen, bouyant mysticism has shaken me and I have been carrying around his book, Rosestrikes and Coffee Grinds, for weeks.I can only hope his friend and translator Murat Nemet-Nejat will continue the heroic work of bringing Erözçelik’s extant body of work into English, despite this great loss.

Here’s a typically gorgeous poem byErözçelik, links to his work. Please read a few  of his poems this morning and think of Seyhan Erözçelik.


Magpie in my larynx,
marten in my heart…
females jump

i jump
right & left,

but now I’m hoarse.
Rosedusts escaped to my throat.
A thorn pricked my heel…
At my most delicate spot

Magpie in my larynx,
marten in my throat…

I looked at the moon, hit at the heel
This pain has no relief.
No one likes the moonstruck…

if it’s getting light.
That is, if it’s getting light.

Now my larynx a magpie,
marten my throat,

rose petals pricked my veins.

While the marten’s squinting
petals swim in my blood.

The marten’s pumping blood to its thighs,
to my eyes.

And my heartflesh dry like a rose.

It’s beautiful rose.

—Translated from the Turkish by Murat Nemet-Nejat

(from Gül ve Telve, 1997)



Information and poems on the PIP

Poems on Words Without Borders


3 comments for this entry:
  1. Miggy Angel

    Sad to hear of the untimely death of Seyhan Erözçelik. I was not aware of his work until your recent post on him. His writing is a reminder to me of all that initially drew me to poetry. (The poetry of possibility.)

    His poetry contains so much, is a vessel for the fantastic & the corporeal, a playground of serious jest. Room for the whole world, in fact, the flying fish & the midget angel, & all poles in-between. The poetry world can often feel oppressively parochial & self-defeating, but Seyhan’s work seemed to transcend these limitations. I want to call his work ‘real’ poetry, but am aware, as Johannes has recently explicated so well, of the tendencies to create hierarchies & divisions in our categorisations – let me just say that Seyhan’s poetry is vital, & renders me again the wide-eyed child as the theatre darkens, open to possibilities abounding in all directions.

    I have no great knowledge of contemporary Turkish poetry – tho am a long-time fan of Orhan Veli Kanik – maybe you could enlighten us further? I have just ordered Seyhan’s ‘Rosestrikes & Coffee Grinds’ from Abebooks & shall treasure it. Many thanks for highlighting his work.

  2. Jared


    Been caught up in a bathroom remodel that took twice as long as planned, now just catching up here at MV at an ungodly hour that finds me sleepless. I had just received “Rosestrikes…” and barely cracked it open before the aforementioned craziness began. So glad you pointed us to Seyhan’s work, and sorry to hear of his passing. Back to reading him. His work is the dying longing after the dead, I think.

  3. Murat Nemet-Nejat

    The almost immediate response to his work by so many is my reward for years of labor on his magical, easy/difficult work. Thank you all.