Eclipse of the Moon or The Night of Grief by Şükrü Erbaş – translated by Derick Mattern

A night when the sea fills beds

A night when wine fills the sea

A night when words fill wine

A night when the world fills words

A night when your body fills the world


Not you

But my own flesh I kissed.

Oh, you crushed dream, you flew solitude

You who stir up all the passions.



Şükrü Erbaş is one of Turkey’s most popular and prize-winning poets. His work delves into the natural landscape of Asia Minor, as well as its deep mystical heritage, in rich yet accessible language. Author of over a dozen books of poetry and essays, little of his work has thus far appeared in English. Born in the central Anatolian town of Yozgat, Erbaş now lives in very active retirement in the coastal city of Antalya.

Derick Mattern holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and another in literary translation from the Iowa Translation Workshop, where he was an Iowa Arts Fellow. His poems and translations have appeared widely, in Subtropics, The Adroit Journal, Copper Nickel, Gulf Coast, Leveler, and elsewhere. He is a 2018 NEA literary translation fellow.