First a word of explanation: this song is extremely well known in Turkey. It is a folk song or rather a lamentation over the lost souls in Yemen. Back in the days of the Ottoman Empire, Anatolian youth was sent in great numbers to Yemen. Almost every single one of them perished. Somehwere along the line this song was created. Because of its anonymous nature, and its ubiquitous nature, there are many different versions of this song. I will translate the most common parts and add some less known bits as well. When I find the time I will give more information about the Yemen factor.

YEMEN SONG
It’s a clear sky, what is this smoke?
Nobody in the neigbourhood died, what is this lamentation?
How terrible are the lands of Yemen?

Lo, yonder is Yemen, its roses are bitter
Those that go there do not return, I wonder why
This place here is Muş, its paths are steep
Those that leave do not retun, I wonder why

There is the sound of conscripts at the barracks
Go and look what he [i.e. the conscript] has in his bag
A pair of shoes and his fez

Lo, yonder is Yemen, its roses are bitter
Those that go there do not return, I wonder why
This place here is Muş, its paths are steep
Those that leave do not retun, I wonder why

Accordeon is being played, did you think it was a wedding?
Did you mistake the red and green banner for a bride?
Did you think that those who go to Yemen return?
Come back my lord, come back, I can not carry on
Sleep and ignorance are pressing I can not wake up
My lord, I can not believe that you have died

YEMEN TÜRKÜSÜ
Havada bulut yok, bu ne dumandır
Mahlede ölen yok, bu ne figandır
Şu Yemen elleri ne de yamandır

Ano Yemendir, Gülü çemendir
Giden gelmiyor, Acep nedendir
Burası Muş’tur, Yolu yokuştur
Giden gelmiyor, Acep ne iştir

Kışlanın önünde redif sesi var
Bakın çantasında acep nesi var
Bir çift kundurayla bir de fesi var

Ano Yemendir, Gülü çemendir
Giden gelmiyor, Acep nedendir
Burası Muş’tur, Yolu yokuştur
Giden gelmiyor, Acep ne iştir

Mızıka çalınır düğün mü sandın
Al yeşil bayrağı gelin mi sandın
Yemen’e gideni gelir mi sandın
Dön gel ağam dön gel dayanamiram
Uyku gaflet basmış uyanamiram
Ağam öldüğüne inanamiram

As soon as I have time I will polish up this post and add some more information. This song is so important and rich that I feel I should give some information about the context.

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Bundan Sonra by Selda Bağcan

November 27, 2007

From Now On (Anymore)

Even if you were the Koran, the Gospel or the Psalms
I will not open you [to read you] anymore
Even if you were the elixer of life
I will not drink of you anymore

Even if you were a magnificent bird
Even if you were the first among all that is beautiful
Even if you were a priceless fabric
I will not sew you anymore

Even if you were the rose of a special garden
Even if you were honey of white seeds
Even if you were a coral-colored pearl
I will not wear you anymore

Death is what the Lord wisheth
Your words are wounds on my soul
Even if you were the bridge to heaven
I will not pass you anymore

Bundan Sonra 

kuran, incil, zebur olsan
açmam seni bundan sonra
abıkevser suyu olsan
içmem seni bundan sonra

eğer ulu bir kuş olsan
cümle güzele baş olsan
paha yetmez kumaş olsan
biçmem seni bundan sonra

has bahçenin gülü olsan
beyaz tohum balı olsan
nur-i mercan inci olsan
takmam seni bundan sonra

ölümdür hakkın muradı
sözün özüme yaradır
olsan cennettin sıratı
geçmem seni bundan sonra

To be honest I don’t know for sure whether or not Selda Bağcan has written this song, but she does sing it. This song is a little known gem, if I’m not mistaken from the 70’s. It’s a sad song, somebody has been let down by their beloved in such a way that she doesn’t want to have to do anything with him any longer. Even if he would be the most precious among things… The translation does need a few explanations though:

  • Abıkevser suyu: This composition is just brilliant. Âb-ı Kevser Suyu. Âb = water (Persian), Kevser = a river in heaven (Arabic, Koranic in origin) & Su = water (Turkish). So basically you have “water” two times. This is because âb-ı Kevser has become solidified as abıkevser in Turkish and the meaning of âb has been lost over time. I think the best way to translate this heavenly water is “elixer of life” because it wants to express a type of water so precious that anybody would want to drink of it… except for the singer :)
  • Biçmem: From the verb biçmek which means “to cut”, but in relation to the verse preceding it we know it means to “cut the fabric”. This means in Turkish as much as “cutting the fabric in order to make clothes out of it”. Because of this connotation of producing clothes, I decided to use “sew” instead of “cut”. However, I have to note that the essential feeling that the verse tries to convey is: “I will not wear you anymore”.
  • Beyaz tohum balı: One can only imagine how precious the honey derived from only the white pollen of flowers must be. Although I have to admit I’m not very sure of this…
  • Nur-i mercan inci: Nur (Arabic) means light and Mercan (Arabic?) means coral Inci (Turkish) means pearl. So why not a “coral-colored pearl”? Again I’m not very certain about this…
  • Özüme:  From the Turkish Öz which means self. Soul is a better choice here though.
  • Cennettin sıratı: The Sirat is in Islamic tradition a very thin bridge that hangs over hell and that all people are supposed to pass in order to get into heaven.

Listen to the song here, along with the lyrics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqcuaOQA3HI

FEAST OF PILLAGING

This small feast, gentlemen – for it is waiting to be devoured
trembling in your presence – it is the life of this people
Of this people agonized, of this people dying
But please, feel no restraint, eat, swallow, munch munch…

Eat ye gentlemen, this appetizing feast is yours
Till you are satisfied, nauseous, eat till you burst

Gentlemen, you are very hungry, it is to be seen from your faces
Eat, if you don’t eat today, perhaps it will not be here tomorrow
This heap of food is honored by your arrival
This is your right because of your campaign, yes, surely that right is yours

Eat ye gentlemen, this joyous feast is yours
Till you are satisfied, nauseous, eat till you burst

Count what these delicate gentlemen have lying around
Nobility, descendancy, honour, games, weddings, mansions, palaces
It is all yours, gentlemen, mansions, palaces, brides, parades
It is all your, it is all yours, readily, easily…

Eat ye gentlemen, this appetizing feast is yours
Till you are satisfied, nauseous, eat till you burst

Even if the digestion of greatness is a trouble, it’s no harm
It has the pride of grandeur, the joy of revenge
This feast expects kindness from your attention
They are all yours these heads, brains, livers, all these bloody morsels

Eat ye gentlemen, this sacrificing feast is yours
Till you are satisfied, nauseous, eat till you burst

The poor country will give, whatever it has, its possessions
Its body, its life, its hope, its dreams
Its entire well-being, what it has of joy in heart
Quick, devour it, don’t think about it being wrong or right

Eat ye gentlemen, this appetizing feast is yours
Till you are satisfied, nauseous, eat till you burst

This harvest will end, seize whatever you can on your way out
Tomorrow you might see all the crackling hearths go out
The stomachs of today are strong, the soup today is warm
Nibble, gobble fistfuls and platefuls

Eat ye gentlemen, this feast filled with music is yours
Till you are satisfied, nauseous, eat till you burst

HAN-I YAĞMA

Bu sofracık, efendiler – ki iltikaama muntazır
Huzurunuzda titriyor – şu milletin hayatıdır
Şu milletin ki mustarip, şu milletin ki muhtazır
Fakat sakın çekinmeyin, yiyin, yutun hapır hapır…

Yiyin efendiler yiyin, bu han-ı iştiha sizin
Doyunca, tıksırınca, çatlayıncaya kadar yiyin

Efendiler pek açsınız, bu çehrenizde bellidir
Yiyin, yemezseniz bugün, yarın kalır mı kim bilir
Şu nadi-i niam, bakın kudumunuzla müftehir
Bu hakkıdır gazanızın, evet, o hak da elde bir…

Yiyin efendiler yiyin, bu han-ı zi-safa sizin
Doyunca, tıksırınca, çatlayıncaya kadar yiyin

Bütün bu nazlı beylerin ne varsa ortalıkta say
Haseb, neseb, şeref, oyun, düğün, konak, saray
Bütün sizin, efendiler, konak, saray, gelin, alay
Bütün sizin, bütün sizin, hazır hazır, kolay kolay…

Yiyin efendiler yiyin, bu han-ı iştiha sizin
Doyunca, tıksırınca, çatlayıncaya kadar yiyin

Büyüklüğün biraz ağır da olsa hazmı yok zarar
Gurur-ı ihtişamı var, sürur-ı intikaamı var
Bu sofra iltifatınızdan işte ab ü tab umar
Sizin bu baş, beyin, ciğer, bütün şu kanlı lokmalar…

Yiyin efendiler yiyin, bu han-ı can-feza sizin
Doyunca, tıksırınca, çatlayıncaya kadar yiyin

Verir zavallı memleket, verir ne varsa, malini
Vücudunu, hayatını, ümidini, hayalini
Bütün ferağ-ı halini, olanca şevk-i balini
Hemen yutun düşünmeyin haramını, helalini…

Yiyin efendiler yiyin, bu han-ı iştiha sizin
Doyunca, tıksırınca, çatlayıncaya kadar yiyin

Bu harmanın gelir sonu, kapıştırın giderayak
Yarın bakarsınız söner bugün çıtırdayan ocak
Bugünkü mideler kavi, bugünkü çorbalar sıcak
Atıştırın, tıkıştırın, kapış kapış, çanak çanak…

Yiyin efendiler yiyin, bu han-ı pür-neva sizin
Doyunca, tıksırınca, çatlayıncaya kadar yiyin

Tevfik Fikret

I would like to acknowledge the author of this page here. I have used his Turkish explanations for some of the words and terms that I didn’t understand.

Tevfik Fikret - sisTevfik Fikret (1867 – 1915) was a brilliant poet. His real name was Mehmed Tevfik. He was influenced by Abdülhak Hamid Tarhan and in turn he influenced a whole batch of poets, including the equally brilliant Yahya Kemal. One of his most famous poems is Sis (the Mist), in which he describes Istanbul as a “slutty virgin widow”. This poem was forbidden during Sultan Abdülhamid II reign because of its politically critical character. However, many youth, among them Falih Rıfkı Atay, did secretly know the poem just for being rebellious, without really fully understanding it. One must not forget that Fikret and his school’s language is very complex and far from colloquial Turkish. It is this type of language that pushed the Turkish puritans like Yurdakul away from this group of poets and made Ömer Seyfettin remark: “Yes Tarhan is a true genious and Makber is a real masterpiece, too bad that nobody understands what he says

 The painting shown here was based on the poem Sis and it was painted by Abdulmecid, who would become the last of the Islamic Khalif’s. It look like a gray blotch, but if you look closely you can see the silhouette of Istanbul with its minarets in the mist.

Tevfik Fikret - himselfHan-i Yağma is literally translated “the table of pillaging”. Why did I translate it as “feast”? Because the “han” here means not just a table, but a table with food on it. For those of you who know a bit of Arabic, try and think about the difference between طاولة and مائدة. So perhaps there is a better word out there than “feast” but until I find that word, this is the best description. Aside from that I have to admit that the translation is not the best I ever did.

The poem itself is, much like Sis, a harsh critique on politics: rich men of the state devour everything of the people. The people on the other hand trust these men and are full of good will. I’m still trying to date the poem, which should give me a better idea on whom he is criticising, because I have read somewhere that this poem is aimed at the members of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), the guys who did the Young Turk revolution in 1908. If this is true it remains to be seen why Fikret would write so harshly about the men who did away with the Sultan who forbid his poems in the first place…

I think the poem is extra-cool because it is so descriptive and morbid. It should put every corrupt politician to shame. Because of this, it is also timeless.

Paper on Abu Nuwas

November 15, 2007

A short paper which I have written for a class in Arabic Literature. It’s certainly not the most Academic work out there, but it’s a good read as an introduction to Abu Nuwas.

There is an overview of the themes one can expect to find in his poetry and also some biography.

Click here to download it

 The Warpath

I am a Turk, my faith, my kin are awesome
My heart and my essence are filled with fire
A true man is the slave of his fatherland
An offspring of the Turks rests not at home, so I shall go.
These lands are the abode of my ancestors
My house, my village are all part of this home
Behold the fatherland! Lo the embracement of God!
Father, your home finds none of its children, I too shall go.
I will not have the book of the Creator abrogated
I will not have Osman’s flag removed
I will not have my enemy charge my fatherland
The House of the Lord can not be laid to ruins, I shall go.
The Lord is my witness I shall keep my vow
The love of my people is in my essence
Naught but the fatherland have I set my sight on
The enemy will not take the beloved’s bed, so I shall go.
With a white shirt shall I wipe my tears
With a black stone shall I sharpen my knife
For my fatherland, I wish exaltion
None shall remain in this world, I too shall go.

Cenge Giderken

Ben bir Türk’üm dinim, cinsim uludur
Sinem, özüm ateş ile doludur
İnsan olan vatanının kuludur
Türk evlâdı evde durmaz, giderim.
Bu topraklar ecdâdımın ocağı
Evim köyüm hep bu yurdun bucağı
İşte vatan! İşte Tanrı kucağı!
Ata yurdun evlât bulmaz, giderim.
Yaradanın kitabını kaldırtmam
Osmancığın bayrağını aldırtmam
Düşmanımı vatanıma saldırtmam
Tanrı evi viran olmaz giderim.
Tanrım şâhid duracağım sözümde
Milletimin sevgileri özümde
Vatanımdan başka şey yok gözümde
Yâr yatağın düşman almaz, giderim.
Ak gömlekle gözyaşımı silerim
Kara taşla bıçağımı bilerim
Vatanımçün yücelikler dilerim
Bu dünyada kimse kalmaz, giderim

Some notes

  • Yurdakul (1869 – 1944),belonged to that batch of poets for whom nationalism was everything. They witnessed the decline of the Ottoman empire and the rising nationalism in former Ottoman territories. They reacted by forging a Turkish nationalism, led by writers like Ziya Gökalp, Halide Edip Adıvar and Ömer Seyfettin. They chose to write in “simple” Turkish, instead of Ottoman Turkish that was riddled with Arabic and Persian.
  • This poem was first published in the influential literary magazine Servet-i Fünun in 1897. This magazine was at the very core of the new literary movement (Edebiyat-ı Cedid) and published works of great poets like Abdülhak Hamid Tarhan, Tevfik Fikret. It also influenced people like Yahya Kemal Beyatlı. Paradoxally, as opposed to Yurdakul’s plain Turkish, these writers used a poetic language that was very difficult to understand for common people.
  • When Yurdakul proclaims that he “shall go”, he means that he will go out and fight a war.
  • Ulu, an old Turkic word, means big or large. However, we are talking about an order of magnitude which is usually awe-inspiring. This is why ulu, in Turkish, will only be used in relation to God or to things “as big as mountains”. Hence the translation as awesome.
  • It is very strange to see how Yurdakul prefers to use the old Turkic word Tanrı over the (what I assume was) prevalent Allah, a word of Semitic origin. Both words mean technically the same thing: God. With Yaradan (Creator) he again casts aside the Arabic word Allah (or even Halik or Rabb for that matter) and uses a less common Turkic word. Keep in mind, that Yurdakul does not have any problems with using other words that are Arabic in origin: even the beloved Vatan (Fatherland) is an Arabic word. Let us not forget that this poet belongs to the same group of people that wanted to have the Koran, the adhan (call to prayer) and the religious sermons in the mosques in Turkish in the stead of Arabic.

Boşuna by Aziz Nesin

March 6, 2007

POINTLESS

You are not here
It’s pointless for the rain to fall
For we will not be soaked together

It’s pointless that this river
Is swirling and murmuring
For we will not be sitting at its bank to see it

Growing longer as they go
It’s pointless for the roads to tire themselves
For we will not be walking together

Yearnings and separations are also pointless
For we are at such great distances
That we will not be crying together

I love you and it’s pointless
My life is pointless
For we will not be sharing life together

BOŞUNA

Sen yoksun
Boşuna yağıyor yağmur
Birlikte ıslanmayacağız ki
 
Boşuna bu nehir
Çırpınıp pırpırlanması
Kıyısında oturup göremeyeceğiz ki
 
Uzar uzar gider
Boşuna yorulur yollar
Birlikte yürüyemeyeceğiz ki
 
Özlemler de ayrılıklar da boşuna
Öyle uzaklardayız
Birlikte ağlayamayacağız ki
 
Seviyorum seni boşuna
Boşuna yaşıyorum
Yaşamı bölüşemeyeceğiz ki

Aziz Nesin

Boşuna (literally “for nothing”)  means “to no avail”. I chose pointless because it captures the meaning pretty well. It is repeated often throughout the poem. I had to construct some less conventional sentences in the translation to be able to use pointless in all instances. So, the more accurate translation is: “The rain falls to no avail” etc.

Each triplet of verses ends with “we will not…”, however in the original Turkish poem only the first triplet ends with “we will not…”, the should actually be translated as “we will not be able to…”. For the sake of aesthetics I chose to keep the translation simple.

A challenging verse in translating was “Çırpınıp pırpırlanması”. Çırpınmak can be understood in different ways: making a sound like çırp çırp…, so basically the mixing of a fluid. However it can also mean “to struggle (with death)”. Pırpırlamak is a very strange word. It is reminiscent of pırıldamak and parlamak, meaning “to glitter” and “to shine”, but it is also an onomatopoeia, hence “murmur”.

Peri

March 5, 2007

Ne bu sendeki kudret-i-ahsâsât
Gâh eyler bir kavlin beni bed-bâht
Gâh müessisdir nazâr-ı-çeşmanın gönlümde taht

Endişe yok, yaklaş karîb-i-kalbime
Sâmi olayım savt-ı-hülv ü rakîkine
Yaklaş! Kalb-i-garîbimdeki elvâhı izle
Bak, elvân-ı-hayâl ile mersûmsun o yere

Yâr, oldu ellere sevdam intişâr
Yaktı benı aşkın harbinde bir nâr
Yetiş yâr, yetiş yaramı sen sar

İntizârındayım ömr-ü-asgârdan beri
Yaptı darb-ı-zâhirin benden serseri
Yapma, zâlim olma ey peri
Seni sevdiğim gibi sende sev beni

Adorn me, embelish me

Love, Adorn me, embelish me take me in your arms
Love, My eyes will no longer see but you
Love, My heart wants something of you, how should I put this…
Love, Adorn me, embelish me take me in your arms

Love, For you I will pierce the mountains and open a path
Love, For you I will dry the seas, the oceans
Love, For you I will smash the firmament into the ground
Love, Ask for my life, and even that is yours

Love, You can keep the mountains, the rocks and the birds in the sky
Love, Let the sea, the ocean, the firmament be
Love, My heart wants something of you, how should I put this…
Love, Adorn me, embelish me take me in your arms

Love, Let me make a tiara for your hairs from the stars
Love, Let me put out suns with a single blow
Love, Let me burn for your sake like tinder
Love, Ask for my life, and even that is yours

Love, The stars are pretty where they are, leave them be
Love, Stroke my hairs with your hands, that will suffice
Love, My heart wants something of you, how should I put this…
Love, Adorn me, embelish me take me in your arms

Love, Let me be a wind and curl around your slender waist
Love, Let me be the grass underneath your feet
Love, Let me be the mascara on your eyes
Love, Ask for my life, and even that is yours

Love, Adorn me, embelish me take me in your arms
Love, My eyes will no longer see but you
Love, My heart wants something of you, how should I put this…
Love, Adorn me, embelish me  take me in your arms
 

Alla Beni Pulla Beni

Alla beni pulla beni al koynuna yar
Gözüm senden başkasını görmez oldu yar
Gönlüm senden bir şey ister nasıl desem yar
Alla beni pulla beni al koynuna yar

Senin için dağlar deler yol açarım yar
Senin için denizleri kuruturum yar
Senin için gök kubbeyi yerlere çalarım yar
Canım iste canım bile sana kurban yar

Dağlar taşlar uçan kuşlar senin olsun yar
Deniz derya gökler hep yerinde dursun yar
Gönlüm senden bir şey ister nasıl desem yar
Alla beni pulla beni al koynuna yar

Saçlarına yıldızlardan taç yapayım yar
Bir nefeste güneşleri söndüreyim yar
Çıra gibi uğrunda ben yanayım yar
Canım iste canım bile sana kurban yar

Yıldızlar yerinde güzel bırak dursun yar
Saçlarımı ellerinle okşa yeter yar
Gönlüm senden bir şey ister nasıl desem yar
Alla beni pulla beni al koynuna yar

Rüzgar olup ince beline sarılayım yar
Çimen olup ayağına serileyim yar
Sürme olup gözlerine sürüleyim yar
Canım iste canım bile sana kurban yar

Alla beni pulla beni al koynuna yar
Gözüm senden başkasını görmez oldu yar
Gönlüm senden bir şey ister nasıl desem yar
Alla beni pulla beni al koynuna yar

 Barış Manço

Barismanco1In this song two people engage in a conversation. The Italic verses are sung by a woman, the plain verses by a man and the bold verses are sung by both. Basically the man pledges to do the impossible for the woman, while she keeps telling him she doesn’t want that. She simply wants him to hold her.

Yâr, meaning something in the lines of sweetheart, I chose to translate as love for the sake of brevity.

Watch Tolgahan & Salim as they lipsync this song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Syd1E2Lo4yA 

Through my longing for you I have worn out fetters

Being able to tell about you,
To good guys and heroes.
Being able to tell about you,
To the disgraceful, rude
Filthy lie.

How many ice cold winters have passed?
The wolves sleep, the birds sleep, the dungeons sleep.
Outside life keeps going on, roaring…
Only I don’t sleep,
Damn, how many springtimes,
Have I, through my longing for you, worn out fetters?
Let me put bloodroses in your hairs,
Once on this side,
Then on that side…

Being able to scream you out,
Into bottomless pits,
To a falling star,
To somebody that reaches a matchstick
A matchstick that is fallen
On the most barren wave of an ocean.

To him who has lost the passion of first loves,
Who has lost the kisses,
Who shows no interest in the sudden dusk
Who dreams away over a cigarette and a drink
Being able to tell about you, to him…
Your absence is another word for hell
I’m cold, don’t close your eyes…

Hasretinden prangalar eskittim

Seni anlatabilmek seni.
İyi çocuklara, kahramanlara.
Seni anlatabilmek seni,
Namussuza, halden bilmez,
Kahpe yalana.

Ard- arda kaç zemheri,
Kurt uyur, kuş uyur, zindan uyurdu
Dışarda gürül- gürül akan bir dünya…
Bir ben uyumadım,
Kaç leylim bahar,
Hasretinden prangalar eskittim.
Saçlarına kan gülleri takayım,
Bir o yana
Bir bu yana…

Seni bağırabilsem seni,
Dipsiz kuyulara.
Akan yıldıza.
Bir kibrit çöpüne varana.
Okyanusun en ıssız dalgasına
Düşmüş bir kibrit çöpüne.

Yitirmiş tılsımını ilk sevmelerin,
Yitirmiş öpücükleri,
Payı yok, apansız inen akşamdan,
Bir kadeh, bir cigara, dalıp gidene,
Seni anlatabilsem seni…
Yokluğun, Cehennemin öbür adıdır
Üşüyorum, kapama gözlerini…

Ahmed Arif

ahmedarif1In this poem Ahmed Arif is talking about being imprisoned and yearning for a beloved. He shows signs of frustration about being locked up while the world keeps moving on. His unnamed beloved is his light at the end of the tunnel.

Ahmed Arif was born in Eastern Turkey in 1927. After finishing highschool in Diyarbakir he continued his studies in Ankara. His politcal views got him in jail twice. After his penitentiary adventures he started working for newspapers and magazines. He died in 1991.

His poetry was often published, but it was not until 1968 that his only book “hasretinden prangalar eskittim” (“Through my longing for you I have worn out fetters”, named after the poem) would be printed. It has been reprinted often since then (37th print in 1996). After his death his son published some more of his poetry (2003). Prior to that some of his letters were published (1992).

Ahmed Arif’s poetry is characterised by its lyrical and epic nature. He talks about rural life, with a rural language or about his experiences in jail.

Teedot

March 3, 2007

I remember that night
When I was dumbstruck
by her taste, by her sight

Oh the games she played
With my mind and body
I was lost and swayed

How nice it was to hold her up
Bring her to my lips
And to slaver on her cup

Her ruby colour blinds my sight
Her fragrance is sweet
Her radiance is ever bright

I drink only the best
The best of liquor and wine
and I only drink with the best

A fay materialised
Beside me at the bar
And before I realised

She was to share my cup
“You are worthy of it
Don’t tarry, drink up!”

Abu Nuwas 1In this poem I try to emulate the famous Abbâsid wine poet Abû Nuwâs. I describe wine as if I am describing a girl. At the end of the description I startle the reader by saying “I slaver on her cup”. Then I clarify that it is red wine that I am talking about. I make an abrupt shift in subject, like Abû Nuwâs does, by talking about a girl. I close off the poem with a quote or an exclamation that breaks out of the poetic framework, again in the tradition of Abû Nuwâs.