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Orhan Veli Kanik

(13 April 1914 – 14 November 1950 / İstanbul)

Biography of Orhan Veli Kanik

Orhan Veli Kanik poet

Orhan Veli Kanık (13 April 1914 – 14 November 1950) was a Turkish poet. Together with Oktay Rıfat and Melih Cevdet, he founded the Garip Movement.

Orhan Veli was born in Istanbul. His father was a conductor of the Presidential Symphony Orchestra. His younger brother, Adnan Veli, was a well known journalist whose memoir of his time in prison on political charges, "Mahpushane Çeşmesi (The Prison Fountain)", was published in 1952. Orhan Veli studied at the Ankara Gazi High School before he started his university education which lasted one year at Istanbul University's philosophy department before dropping out in 1935. He was employed by the Ministry of Education as a translator from 1945 to 1947. Later, he worked as a freelance translator and journalist. In 1949, he helped the publication of Yaprak, a literary magazine. As also evidenced from the contents of some of his deeply humorous poetry, he was a heavy drinker. His death was due to a brain hemorrhage a few days after he fell into a pot hole on the street while intoxicated.

He is known for advocating a poetry without excessive stylistic elements and adjectives, and preferring a style closer to free-verse. He is known for his unique voice, and depth of emotion underlying the seemingly easy-coming nature of his verse. His poetry is highly admired by the public as well as in academic circles.

Orhan Veli Kanik's Works:

* Garip (Together with Oktay Rifat and Melih Cevdet, 1941)
* Garip (1945)
* Vazgeçemediğim (1945)
* Destan Gibi (1946)
* Yenisi (1947)
* Karşı (1949)
* Collected Poems (1951, 1975)

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Departure

I stare after the departing ship;
I can't throw myself into the sea, world is beautiful;
There is manhood inside, I can't cry.

[Hata Bildir]