Shemsettin Kuzeci: WE, WHISPER and LOVE

Shemsettin Kuzeci

Kirkuk (Iraq)


We are not the Sun,

we have come to see the Sun

Before We Die.



Mirrors don”t reflect rusted sunlight,

Souls don”t put up with all vah


To love and to be loved

in this misery time is too rich

for our blood…

Hearts are as black as night

like a mare’s nest,

But dreams are colorful

like flowers…

Kirkuk, 1991



If you want

make me cry,

If you wish

get me a laugh,

And cut down me

in my homeland

that I love.

Baghdat, 1990




If they draw a bead on world,

If they hit the right note on world,

My Kirkuk- my lovely homeland

I would not trade for the world.


There”re many morning stars,

Our words are as strong as oxes,

If one doesn”t love homeland

He”ll not go

to the happy hunting grounds.


We were fatally shot by fate,

What a sorrow when you are hurt!

We”re laughing for appearances only,

The only yearner is the heart.

Translated by Kamran Nazirli

[1] Quatrain is a type of stanza, or a complete verse, consisting of four lines. It looks like bayati, that is one of the oldest forms of Kirkuk folk poetry. It consists of four lines, each of which has seven syllables. The rhyme scheme is aaba. Anonymous bayati have been collected as folk wisdom in editions such as people’s sayings and feelings. Bayati can also be strung together in sequence to form longer poems, and there are several bayati dastan, epics, in which all of the verses are bayati; one example is Arzu-Gambar.