ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



Necdet Evliyagil’s  first poems were published in 1945, when he was a student at high school.

By 1960, he began expressing his ideas rather than feelings via poetry. In his book Eski Yalı

(Old Seaside Residence) he described old seaside houses, old fishermen, the blue sky;

the wind smelling of rain, the seasons, the gardens and İstanbul with its flowers.



Legislator Poets


Translated from the Turkish by Mevlut Ceylan

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Necdet Evliyagil  — Poet (b. 1926, İstanbul – d. 3 April 1992, Ankara). He graduated from İstanbul University, Faculty of Literature (1950). He took up journalism in 1945, when he was a student at high school. He worked in the newspapers Son Posta, Yeni Sabah and Cumhuriyet. In the following years, he became a possessor of journalism honor card. In 1953, he established the Agency Turkish Industry of Journalism and Publishers with Şevket Evliyagil. He was the manager and editorial writer of the agency for years. He served as the general secretary Turkey Tourism Center between 1967 and 1972. He was a deputy from Ankara at the Turkish Grand National Assembly between 1973 and 77. He was elected for membership to the European Council. By 1961, he participated in Struga Nights of Poetry Festival in Yugoslavia several times. He produced and presented the program titled “Şiir Dünyası” (World of Poetry) in Turkish radio and Television Corporation. His first poems were published in 1945, when he was a student at high school. By 1960, he began expressing his ideas rather than feelings via poetry. In his book Eski Yalı (Old Seaside Residence) he described old seaside houses, old fishermen, the blue sky; the wind smelling of rain, the seasons, the gardens and İstanbul with its flowers.

WORKS:POETRY: Eski Yalı (Old Seaside Residence, 1955), Duyabildiğine (As Much As You Can Hear, 1960), Yaşantı (Life, 1972), Düş ve Gerçek (Dream and Reality, 1973), Altınkum Vapuru (Ship to Altınkum, 1975), Çocukların Görkemli Düşü ve Acı Gülüşü (The Marvelous Dream and Bitter Smile of Children, 1979), İstanbul Düşü (İstanbul Dreaming, selected poems 1982), İstanbul Bulutu (İstanbul Cloud, 1987). STUDY: Edebî Mektepler, Edebî Cereyanlar (Literary Schools, Literary Trends, 1949), Anlamsız Şiir (Meaningless Poetry, 1961), Divan Şiiri (Divan* Poetry), Nükleer Silahlardan da Büyük Kuvvet, Aile Planlaması (A Force Superior than Nuclear Weapons, Family Planning -notes for the Far East), Şiirde Lirizm ve Realizm (Lyricism and Realism in Poetry), Çankaya, Atatürk ve Anıtkabir (Çankaya, Atatürk and Atatürk’s Mosoleum).PRESENTATION: Edebî Konuşmalar (Literary Conversations, 1958). ANTHOLOGY: Aşk İçin Söylenenler (Words on Love, 1948), Divan Şiirinden Seçmeler (Selections from Divan* Poetry, 1958), Türk Şiiri Antolojisi (An Anthology of Turkish Poetry, 1958), Ajans-Türk Şiir Antolojisi (An Anthology of Poetry of Agency Turkish, in collaboration with B. K. Çağlar, 1959), Türk ve Dünya Edebiyatında Aşk (Love in Turkish and World Literature), Dünya Şiirinden Seçmeler (Selections of World Poetry- two volumes), Türk ve Dünya Şiiri (Turkish and World Poetry, 10 volumes), Seçme Şiirler Antolojisi (An Anthology of Selected Poems).

The Bosphorus


Every season


with her




each side of the strait

envelopes itself in the wind’s blueness.


Sea is blue,

sky is blue,

the old plane tree is blue

The fisherman’s eyes are blue

who waits his kismet by the sea.

Necdet Evliyagil (1920-1992)

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.”

We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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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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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?

What scares non-Muslims about openly supporting liberal voices within Islam? How did we get into the mess of tolerating intolerable customs, such as honor killings, and how do we change that noxious status quo?

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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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1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


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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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posted 9 March 2006




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Yusuf Ziya Ortac    Ziya Gokalp