Once there was and once there wasn’t, when the flea was a porter and the camel a barber, when I was rocking my father’s cradle, ‘tingir mingir’. 

Nasreddin Hodja is one of the most important cultural figures in Turkish literature. For generations, Turkish children have grown up listening to the satirical wisdom of this quick-witted hero.

Istanbul poems selected, translated and edited by Mevlut Ceylan.