Poet, writer, humanist
Born in Lefke in 1940
….has died on November 28. I remember him well. We had long talks on poetry. Only some months ago I finished my interview with him which I had started one year ago. I am very sad that we have lost him but he will live on in his poems which I have come to love very much. Here is the beginning of my interview which is to be published in Volume II of my book “Art and Creativity in North Cyprus”. My sadness joins that of his family. Heidi Trautmann
Psalms for the Time of Poetry
It is like a poet’s voice wandering through space
When a poem runs through the veins of time
And then the wind blows through the tamarisks,
I am something like the voice of psalms and of Jesus,
I am the love song of a wounded lyre,
Dripping on the earth like rain.
I am like a bright morning start in the sky
When a poem runs through the veins of time.
You are a poet
You are like an insistent shower of rain
you are like a seed
hiding the poem from mother earth
from whose womb you came;
you, among the thorns and bushes,
are one who harbours life against death;
you are like tall golden corn;
you are like one absorbing fears and pains
and then interpreting them in the form of songs;
you are like a bell of mist,
a poet whose voice trembles.
You are like a lark. An unfolding lemon blossom.
Your heart is that field you plough every day!
You echo against waters and air;
A voice. A message. An envelope drifting with the wind;
What are you hiding? Until when and where are you going
You are a question, sometimes,
sometimes an answer;
your voice pours over a precipice,
or into space.
You are a poet - though no-one asks you to be;
this is your destiny, you will follow a voice of hope.
You are a voluntary soldier of your heart.
The singer of olive-groves.
Who knows what flight number your voice is.
You are the heart and trembling leaf of love,
you exult in a basket of fresh figs.
You continue your swim to reach a coast,
And perhaps you will never make it.
Nicosia, 19. 7. 1986
Fikret Demirağ has a peaceful face, a thinker’s brow, brown eyes behind big glasses; the movements of his hands are thoughtful, nothing agitated. He observes, relaxed. I am sitting opposite him in his house in Nicosia outskirts, his home with his wife. His children have come to visit them. There is love in the room, one grandchild baby touching everything, joyfully. A room full of books. “My thoughts are always here in my home country, the place where I work, where I am a poet, where my friends are, although I have to spend quite some time away in Istanbul,” he says and his wife nods to his words. Zeki Ali, a poet and close friend, has come with me to help with interpreting when necessary. Lately Fikret Demirağ was having some health problems so we had to postpone our meeting for many months. I told him I’d rather wait for him to get better than put my questions in writing because I need to know the colour of his eyes and how it changes while we are talking.
Fikret Demirağ was born and grew up in a magic place, a place also magic for me. Lefke/Lefka. Whenever I travel across the mountains coming from Kyrenia, I have the feeling of passing from one space to another, it is a different air altogether, as if passing through a curtain. -----
I see him there now, behind this curtain, on a different level.