Ömer Erdem

Ömer ErdemÖmer Erdem born 1967 in Istanbul, graduated the Faculty of Literature at Istanbul University, where he completed his Master′s degree in Turkish Literature.

Erdem poems has been published in various poetry journals including Diriliş, Dergâh, Düşler, Göçebe, Nar, Hece, Sonsuzluk ve Birgün, Yasakmeyve, and Kitap-lık. Together with friends he established the poetry magazine "Kaşgar". Erdem has published poetry books including Yitirişler, Unutulmayan Mısralar, Mesafesi Kadar İnleyen Rüzgar, Dünyaya Sarkıtılan İpler, Üsküdar (Istanbul, 2009), Kireç (Istanbul, 2010), Evvel (Istanbul, 2010), Kör (Istanbul, 2012), Pas (Istanbul, 2015) and Azap (Istanbul, 2017).

In 2015, he received the First Dağlarca Poetry Award for his book "Pas." Erdem currently writes weekly columns for Karar.




black waterlily

oh black waterlily water maiden we met in the deep floodplain forest
i’d gotten lost in a punctured skiff
summoned as i was by your hair tied to the bottom deeper still
and by hundreds of wild scents
were it not for the bit of sense left in me
i would have undressed and plunged into the water


black waterlily the rain-heat of midday
you were an unwritten strandzha song
i an increasingly empowered seljuk khan
in an era when words were weighed not by the flog but by gold
like two gleaming shadows in full embrace
we breathed in and out at the bottom
just as i did with your fellow waterlilies
just as off the karaburun coast where we first met


your hair rippled in and out of sight
ancient columns were talking eye to eye
goats were triggering the arrows of the sun
in the floodplain forest on that linen of black waterlilies
was that gray-out God’s poem
in that earth-water i know
oh black waterlily oh water maiden oh the times to come
oh my elusive yet ever-present past


translated by Buğra Giritlioğlu


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