There Must be a Catch

There Must be a Catch

by: Orhan Veli Kanık

Is the sea as gorgeous as this every day?

Is this what the sky looks like all the time?

This furniture and this window –

Are they always this lovely?

They aren’t;

I swear they aren’t;

There must be a catch somewhere.


This poem was written by the early 20th century Turkish poet Orhan Veli Kanık.

During my stay here in Istanbul for the following two weeks, I will examine the city of Istanbul, Turkey through the lens of some of the city’s greatest writers. The poetry of Orhan Veli Kanık offers some of the most powerful illustrations of Istanbul and the mysterious beauty it possesses. This poem is just one in particular looking at the scenic sea and sky visible to people from the tens of thousands of rooftops and windows that litter the city.