I've learned some things

by Ataol Behramoglu

I've learned some things from having lived:
If you're alive, experience one thing with all your power
Your beloved should be worn out from being kissed
And you should drop exhausted from the smelling of a flower

A person can gaze at the sky for hours
Can gaze for hours at a bird, a child, the sea
To live on the earth is to become part of it
To strike down roots that won't pull free

If you cling to anything, tightly hold a friend
Fight for something with every muscle, whole body, all your passion
And if you lay yourself for a time on the warm beach
Let yourself rest like a grain of sand, a leaf, a stone

To your utmost, listen to every beautiful song
As though filling all the self with sound and melody
One should plunge head-first into life
As one dives from a cliff into the emerald sea

Distant lands should draw you, people you don't know
To read every book, know other's lives, you should be burning
You shouldn't exchange for anything the pleasure of a glass of water
No matter how much the joy, your life should be filled with yearning

You should know sorrow, honorably, with all your being
Because the pains, like joys, make a person grow
Your blood should mingle in the great circulation of life
And in your veins life's endless fresh blood should flow

I've learned some things from having lived:
If you're alive, experience largely, merge with rivers, heavens, cosmos
For what we call living is a gift given to life
And life is a gift bestowed upon us

from "Yasadiklarimdan Ogrendigim Bir Sey Var"
Translation by Walter Andrews