ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



Faruk Nafiz Çamlibel began to write poems during World War I, by writing poems

in aruz meter. With his great success in writing poems with syllabic meter, he was

accepted as one of the five poets of poetry in syllabic meter. However, in his last

years, he began to write his poems in aruz meter again. His most famous poem

is Han Duvarları (“Walls of the Inn”) . . .



Legislator Poets


Translated from the Turkish by Mevlut Ceylan

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Faruk Nafiz Çamlibel — Poet and writer (b. 18 May 1898, İstanbul – d. 8 November 1973). He used the pen names İsmail Vecih, Kalender and Tatlı Sert. He attended the Bakırköy Elementary School and Hadıka-ı Meşveret High School. Before completing his university education at the School of Medicine, he began to work as a teacher in Kayseri (1922). For many years, he worked as a teacher of literature in Ankara and İstanbul. After 1946, he embarked on politics and after being elected as a deputy for the Democrat Party, he served in the parliament. He was tried on Yassıada together with other politicians from Democrat Party after the military coup on 27 May 1960. He was imprisoned for about 15 months. After being acquitted, he left politics and focused on poetry. He died of an heart attack during a voyage on the Mediterranean Sea in 1973. His grave is in Zincirlikuyu Graveyard.

He began to write poems during World War I, by writing poems in aruz meter. With his great success in writing poems with syllabic meter, he was accepted as one of the five poets of poetry in syllabic meter. However, in his last years, he began to write his poems in aruz meter again. His most famous poem is Han Duvarları (Walls of the Inn), where he explains his impressions in Kayseri via the route of Ulukışla. Faruk Nafiz, who published a review with the title Anayurt (1933), published his satiric poems in humor reviews such as Akbaba and Karikatür, with the pen names Çamdeviren and Deli Ozan.


POETRY: Şarkın Sultanları (Sultans of the East, in aruz meter, 1919), Gönülden Gönüle (From Heart to Heart, in aruz meter, 1919), Çoban Çeşmesi (The Shepherd Fountain, 1919, the poem Han Duvarları – Walls of the Inn is in this work), Dinle Neyden (Listen from the Nay, 1919), Suda Halkalar (The Hoops on the Water, in aruz meter, 1928), Bir Ömür Böyle Geçti (A Life Passed Like This, selected poems, 1933), Elimle Seçtiklerim (Selected by My Hand, selected poems, 1934), Akarsu (The River, 1937), Akıncı Türküleri (Songs of the Raiders, 1938), Heyecan ve Sükûn (Excitement and Calmness, selected poems, 1959), Zindan Duvarları (Walls of the Dungeon, in aruz meter, 1967), Han Duvarları (Walls of the Inn, selected poems, 1969), Gurbet ve Saire (Living Far Away from Homeland and Et Cetera, a selection of poems published with Han Duvarları – The Walls of Inn and Bir Ömür Böyle Geçti – A Life Passed Like This, 2003). PLAY: Canavar (The Monster, play in prose, 1925), Akın (The Raid, play in prose, 1932), Özyurt (Homeland, 1932), Kahraman (The Hero, 1933), Ateş (Fire, 1939), Dev Aynası (The Mirror of Titan, 1945), Yayla Kartalı (Eagle of High Plateau, 1945). NOVEL: Yıldız Yağmuru (Rain of Stars, 1945). Besides, he wrote plays for schools. The new editions of his plays have been published after 1965.


Yesterday Zainab’s mum said to her

“My angel child”

When she heard her mum she cried:

What does angel child mean? She asked.

I didn’t quiet understand

Angels have wings

Where’re my wings?

—I had three children

They flew away

From my heart

They all left me alone

Left this unfortunate lady alone

I plugged out your wings


So that you would not fly away

  Faruk Nafiz Çamlibel (1898-1973)

posted 9 March 2006

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books



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Life on Mars

By Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars has been selected as the winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In its review of the book, Publishers Weekly noted the collection’s “lyric brilliance” and “political impulses [that] never falter.” A New York Times review stated, “Smith is quick to suggest that the important thing is not to discover whether or not we’re alone in the universe; it’s to accept—or at least endure—the universe’s mystery. . . . Religion, science, art: we turn to them for answers, but the questions persist, especially in times of grief. Smith’s pairing of the philosophically minded poems in the book’s first section with the long elegy for her father in the second is brilliant.” Life on Mars follows Smith’s 2007 collection, Duende, which won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, the only award for poetry in the United States given to support a poet’s second book, and the first Essence Literary Award for poetry, which recognizes the literary achievements of African Americans.

The Body’s Question (2003) was her first published collection. Smith said Life on Mars, published by small Minnesota press Graywolf, was inspired in part by her father, who was an engineer on the Hubble space telescope and died in 2008.

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Allah, Liberty, and Love

The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom

By Irshad Manji

In Allah, Liberty and Love, Irshad Manji paves a path for Muslims and non-Muslims to transcend the fears that stop so many of us from living with honest-to-God integrity: the fear of offending others in a multicultural world as well as the fear of questioning our own communities. Since publishing her international bestseller, The Trouble with Islam Today, Manji has moved from anger to aspiration. She shows how any of us can reconcile faith with freedom and thus discover the Allah of liberty and love—the universal God that loves us enough to give us choices and the capacity to make them. Among the most visible Muslim reformers of our era, Manji draws on her experience in the trenches to share stories that are deeply poignant, frequently funny and always revealing about these morally confused times. What prevents young Muslims, even in the West, from expressing their need for religious reinterpretation?

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The Persistence of the Color Line

Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency

By Randall Kennedy

Among the best things about The Persistence of the Color Line is watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the positions about Mr. Obama staked out by black commentators on the left and right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley. He can be pointed. Noting the way Mr. Smiley consistently “voiced skepticism regarding whether blacks should back Obama” . . .

The finest chapter in The Persistence of the Color Line is so resonant, and so personal, it could nearly be the basis for a book of its own. That chapter is titled “Reverend Wright and My Father: Reflections on Blacks and Patriotism.”  Recalling some of the criticisms of America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with feeling about his own father, who put each of his three of his children through Princeton but who “never forgave American society for its racist mistreatment of him and those whom he most loved.”  His father distrusted the police, who had frequently called him “boy,” and rejected patriotism. Mr. Kennedy’s father “relished Muhammad Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had never called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places his father, and Mr. Wright, in sympathetic historical light.

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Book of Sins

By Nidaa Khoury

Khoury’s poetry is fired by belief in the human and the spiritual at a time when many of us feel unreal and often spiritually hollow.—Yair Huri, Ben-Gurion University 

Written in water and ink, in between the shed blood. Nidaa Khoury’s poems take us to the bosom of an ancient woman  . . . an archetype revived. The secret she whispers is ‘smaller than words.’—Karin Karakasli, author, Turkey

Nidaa Khoury was born in Fassouta, Upper Galilee, in 1959. Khoury is the author of seven books published in Arabic and several other languages, including The Barefoot River, which appeared in Arabic and Hebrew and The Bitter Crown, censored in Jordan. The Palestinian poet is studied in Israeli universities and widely reviewed by the Arab press. The founder of the Association of Survival, an NGO for minorities in Israel, Khoury has participated in over 30 international literary and human rights conferences and festivals. Khoury is the subject of the award-winning film, Nidaa Through Silence.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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update 25 June 2012




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Related files: Erdem Bayazit   Faruk Nafiz Çamlibel   Hasan Ali Yucel   Kemalettin Kamu   Mehmet Akif Ersoy   Mehmet Atilla Mara  Necdet Evliyagil   Yahya Kemal Beyatli 

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