It has been four years since Ülkü Tamer passed away. The poet died in Bodrum in April 2018. Since then his books and most of his unpublished articles have been compiled and presented to readers by Ketebe Publishing. The poems, stories, newspaper articles and memories left by Ülkü Tamer have not been abandoned to the disloyalty of the reader and publisher. Shortly after his death, we have a chance and an effort that brought new readers to the poet.
Ülkü Tamer’s first book of poetry was published in 1959, Under Cold Grass. At a time when Turkish poetry was changing its shell, he preferred to write the poetry of his time. In the years when they established a new language of poetry with The most beautiful Arabia in the world by Turgut Uyar, Sea of Galilee by İlhan Berk, Gravity Carnation by Edip Cansever, this first book by Tamer made him believe in World War II . It was enough to count him among the new poets. Just a year later, the book “The Sky them is Misleading” presented Ülkü Tamer as an important exponent of this understanding of poetry, both in terms of diversity of imagery and form. Published in 1965, the book Virgülün Başıdır Sahneler showed that the politico-socialist critique, which we will see more clearly in the poetry of Ülkü Tamer, began to appear in a humorous way. However, his poetry is still where it began.
Changing bed in Ülkü Tamer’s poem is seen in the book Antep Neresi (1986) as a new movement, as in Virgül. In these poems written in the form of folk songs, with syllables, the culture, people and geography of Anatolia and the hometown of the poet, Antep, appear to us. The poems composed by Ülkü Tamer “Collect the Sun for Me” and “Lament for Memik” are also included in this book. In 2014, her latest book of poetry, Bir Name’s Journey, was published. With poems dedicated to his wife Nesihan, this book is the new and final stage of Ülkü Tamer’s poetry. The poem of a poet who wrote poetry for sixty years, which marked me, is also here. A few questions you can’t help but ask take the form of a verse in this poem. What to do with the age that flows secretly, with the tireless dream, with the winter that does not bring summer?
TO LIVE IS TO REMEMBER
The childhood of Ülkü Tamer, son of İpekçi Tahsin, was spent in Antep. His passion for football, cinema and reading began during these years. He had just opened his eyes when he was sent to Robert College in Istanbul. He graduated from the Institute of Journalism. He has worked as a translator, journalist and theater actor. He was a reserve officer teacher during his military service. He was the editor of A magazine. The growth of Milliyet Publishing was thanks to him. He described these scenes from his life in detail in his book, Living is Remembering. The presence of his wife, Neslihan Kılıç, should not be forgotten when these memories resurface. He’s the one who made Tamer talk. Ketebe also collected the records of Ülkü Tamer’s estate, his writings in literary journals, diaries and book supplements. The third book met readers recently. I recommend that these articles be read in conjunction with Living is Remembering. Tamer is a writer who likes to write in short sentences and transpose scenes from his life into his texts. In this regard, it may not be enough to go into the memoirs of those who want to know his universe. I hope the whole series will continue.
Ülkü Tamer is also a storyteller. Alleben Stories and Events That Never Happened in History, in one shot, focuses on the adventures of Ülkü Tamer, one end of which is the geography of his birth, the other end of faraway Asia to Latin America, where he never lost his interest. Alleben is the name of an arm of the Euphrates which passes through Antep. There are four stories in this little book. Read Alleben with poems by Antep Neresi published five years before him; Connecting “unexpected events in history” to Sıragöller’s poems before you can enrich the meaning of these texts.
The share reserved for Ülkü Tamer on the shelves of Ketebe is growing day by day. In memory of the poet’s death, two facsimiles were published this month. Comma Gone was published in 1965 by De publishing house with drawings by Oğuz Aral. Thirteen poems published under the title “Gök them Misleading” were presented to the reader today along with an original drawing by Ketebe. It’s not a classic book design, except for the cover. When you open the cover, you see that each of the thirteen poems is compressed into thirteen small cards and put in a pocket. Kadir Daniş prepared the work for publication and Nilgün Sönmez designed it. This special edition is sure to grab attention and inspire publishers.