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Nazım Hikmet poem on view at London’s subway station
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1.       tunci
7149 posts
 15 May 2012 Tue 12:49 am

 

Nazım Hikmet poem on view at London’s subway station

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

Turkish poet Nazım Hİkmet Ran has become one of the six poets to have their poems displayed in London subway trains, as part of the “World Poems on the Underground” project.

The English translation of the poet’s “Geceleyin Baku” (Baku at Night) will be on display on the walls of the train carriages until the end of the Olympic Games, to be held in London this summer.

Together with “Baku at Night,” one poem by Sujata Bhatt, Niyi Osundare, John Agard, Imtiaz Dharker and Lotte Kramer will be displayed on the walls.

The poems will be included in a booklet of “World Poems on the Underground,” together with the other poems that have featured in London subway stations since 1986. Some 120,000 copies will be distributed free to libraries, the Southbank Center, the nayor’s office, and through the British Council and the Scottish Poetry Library.

The booklet includes poets featured in sets of African, Commonwealth, European, Australian and Chinese Poems on the Underground, as well as South American and Southeast Asian poets.

The exhibition “Poems on the Underground” is being organized as part of the London 2012 Festival, a parallel event with the London Olympic Games.

Here is the poem by Nazım Hikmet Ran, “Baku at Night”

“Reaching down to the starless heavy sea in the pitch-black night,

Baku is a sunny wheatfield.

High above on a hill, grains of light hit my face by the handfulls,

And the music in the air flows like Bosphorus. High above on a hill, my heart goes out like a raft into the endless absence,

Beyond memory down to the starless heavy sea in the pitch dark.

 

May/15/2012

Note : One of the greatest poet that this planet has ever seen. You can feel the exquisite taste of Turkish language as you read his poems.




Edited (5/15/2012) by tunci

mira 25, nifrtity, slavica and cosmopolite liked this message
2.       Abla
3647 posts
 15 May 2012 Tue 02:00 pm

Nazım Hikmet is perhaps the best known Turk in my country (sorry, Atatürk). His poetry has a personal meaning for me also. I´m glad you brought this up, tunci. I had been thinking about opening a thread for poet Nazım. His poems are quite clear and easy for a learner to read and good translations are available also for those who need them. Maybe we can continue the discussion from here.

 

Love for Turkey and its people is one of the strong motifs in Nazım Hikmet´s lyrics. But it is more than that. Questions of peace, equality and social justice concern everyone. That´s why the verses touch international audience as well.

 

There is a certain philosophy in Nazım Hikmet´s poetry which has made an impression on me, maybe even changed my life. An ultimately positive attitude towards life. There is always hope, life continues until it comes to its absolute end. This shows very well in his maybe best known triplet Yaşamaya dair which can be found on this site also with translation. My own favourite is a love poem Tahirle Zühre meselesi which introduces the same thoughts but from another point of view: it´s no shame to live, it´s no shame to love even if you don´t get anything in return.

 

TAHİRLE ZÜHRE MESELESİ

Tahir olmak da ayıp değil Zühre olmak da
hattâ sevda yüzünden ölmek de ayıp değil,
bütün iş Tahirle Zühre olabilmekte
yani yürekte.

Meselâ bir barikatta dövüşerek
meselâ kuzey kutbunu keşfe giderken
meselâ denerken damarlarında bir serumu
                                          ölmek ayıp olur mu?

Tahir olmak da ayıp değil Zühre olmak da
hattâ sevda yüzünden ölmek de ayıp değil.

Seversin dünyayı doludizgin
ama o bunun farkında değildir
ayrılmak istemezsin dünyadan
ama o senden ayrılacak
yani sen elmayı seviyorsun diye
elmanın da seni sevmesi şart mı?
Yani Tahiri Zühre sevmeseydi artık
yahut hiç sevmeseydi
Tahir ne kaybederdi Tahirliğinden?

Tahir olmak da ayıp değil Zühre olmak da hattâ sevda yüzünden ölmek de ayıp değil.

 

The thing about Tahir and Zühre

There’s no shame in being Tahir, nor in being Zühre
there’s even no shame in dying for love,
it’s all in the ability of being Tahir and Zühre
meaning in having the heart.

For instance, dying fighting in a barricade, 
dying on your way to discover the north pole,
dying trying on a serum in your veins,  
would that be shameful?  

There’s no shame in being Tahir, nor in being Zühre. 
there is even no shame in dying for love. 

You love the world at a full gallop, 
yet the world would not notice  
you wouldn’t want to leave the world  
yet it will leave you
so just because you love the apple  
must the apple love you back? 
So if Zühre didn’t love Tahir any longer, 
or did not love him at all, 
what would Tahir lose of his Tahirness? 

There’s no shame in being Tahir, nor in being Zühre 
there’s even no shame in dying for love.

 

(I couln´t find the name of the translator, I´ll add it later.  -  Not me at least.)



Edited (5/15/2012) by Abla

nifrtity and tunci liked this message
3.       tunci
7149 posts
 15 May 2012 Tue 03:48 pm

 

Absolutely right Abla. Nazım was and is very famous Turk outside Turkai. He was a great patriotic and humanist man that inspired many. It was a big shame that after decades in which even his name was banned, Hikmet’s books are now available in Turkey, with two of his poems included in Turkish schoolbooks.  But it took a petition of half a million signatures in 2001 to restore his Turkish citizenship in  time for the 100th anniversary of his birth. in Bursa prison during the 1940s that Hikmet wrote some of his some of his best-known prison poems.

Nazim Hikmet, 1902-1963


On Living

1
Living is no laughing matter :
you must live with great seriousness
        like a squirrel, for example -
I mean without looking for something beyond and above living,
                  I mean living must be your whole occupation.
Living is no laughing matter:
    you must take it seriously,
    so much so and to such a degree
that, for example, your hands tied behind your back,
                   your back to the wall,
or else in a laboratory,
    in your white coat and safety glasses,
    you can die for people -
even for people whose faces you have never seen,
even though you know living
    is the most real, the most beautiful thing.
I mean, you must take living so seriously
that even at seventy, for example, you´ll plant olive trees -
and not for your children, either
but because although you fear death you don´t believe it,
    because living, I mean, weighs heavier.

1947

 


2
Let´s say we are seriously ill, need surgery -
which is to say we might not get up
            from the white table.
Even though it´s impossible not to feel sad
            about going a little too soon,
we´ll still laugh at the jokes being told,
we´ll look out the window to see if it´s raining,
or still wait anxiously
        for the latest newscast…

Let´s say we are at the front -
for something worth fighting for, say.
There, in the first offensive, on that very day,
We might fall on our face, dead.
We´ll know this with a curious anger,
    but we´ll still worry ourselves to death
    about the outcome of the war, which could last years.

Let´s say we´re in prison
and close to fifty,
and we have eighteen more years, say,
         before the iron doors will open.
We’ll still live with the outside,
with its people and animals, struggle and wind –
         I mean with the outside beyond the walls.
I mean, however and wherever we are,
        we must live as if we will never die...

1948


3
This earth will grow cold, a star among stars
     and one of the smallest,
a gilded mote on blue velvet -
         I mean this, our great earth.
This earth will grow cold one day.
not like a block of ice
or a dead cloud even
but like an empty walnut it will roll along
        in pitch-black space.
You must grieve for this right now
- you have to feel this sorrow now -
for the world must be loved this much
         if you´re going to say "I lived"...

February 1948

YAŞAMAYA DAİR 
  
 
   Yaşamak şakaya gelmez
büyük bir ciddiyetle yaşayacaksın 
bir sincap gibi mesela, 
yani, yaşamanın dışında ve ötesinde 
hiçbir şey beklemeden, 
     yani bütün işin gücün yaşamak olacak. 
             Yaşamayı ciddiye alacaksın,          
yani o derecede, öylesine ki,            
          mesela, kolların bağlı arkadan, sırtın duvarda, 
    yahut kocaman gözlüklerin, 
               beyaz gömleğinle bir laboratuvarda 
                                    insanlar için ölebileceksin,                                  
                        hem de yüzünü bile görmediğin insanlar için, 
                        hem de hiç kimse seni buna zorlamamışken, 
                        hem de en güzel en gerçek şeyin                  
                                  yaşamak olduğunu bildiğin halde.                           
Yani, öylesine ciddiye alacaksın ki yaşamayı, 
yetmişinde bile, mesela, zeytin dikeceksin, 
           hem de öyle çocuklara falan kalır diye değil, 
           ölmekten korktuğun halde ölüme inanmadığın için, 
                                      yaşamak yanı ağır bastığından. 
                                                                                     
 
Diyelim ki, ağır ameliyatlık hastayız, 
yani, beyaz masadan, 
              bir daha kalkmamak ihtimali de var. 
Duymamak mümkün değilse de biraz erken gitmenin kederini 
biz yine de güleceğiz anlatılan Bektaşi fıkrasına, 
hava yağmurlu mu, diye bakacağız pencereden, 
yahut da sabırsızlıkla bekleyeceğiz 
                                en son ajans haberlerini. 
Diyelim ki, dövüşülmeye deşer bir şeyler için, 
                               diyelim ki, cephedeyiz. 
Daha orda ilk hücumda, daha o gün 
                           yüzükoyun kapaklanıp ölmek de mümkün. 
Tuhaf bir hınçla bileceğiz bunu, 
                        fakat yine de çıldırasıya merak edeceğiz 
                        belki yıllarca sürecek olan savaşın sonunu. 
Diyelim ki hapisteyiz, 
yaşımız da elliye yakın, 
daha da on sekiz sene olsun açılmasına demir kapının. 
Yine de dışarıyla birlikte yaşayacağız, 
insanları, hayvanları, kavgası ve rüzgarıyla 
                                    yani, duvarın ardındaki dışarıyla. 
Yani, nasıl ve nerede olursak olalım 
          hiç ölünmeyecekmiş gibi yaşanacak... 
                                                                      1948 
3 
Bu dünya soğuyacak, 
yıldızların arasında bir yıldız, 
                       hem de en ufacıklarından, 
mavi kadifede bir yaldız zerresi yani, 
                       yani bu koskocaman dünyamız. 
Bu dünya soğuyacak günün birinde, 
hatta bir buz yığını 
yahut ölü bir bulut gibi de değil, 
boş bir ceviz gibi yuvarlanacak 
                       zifiri karanlıkta uçsuz bucaksız. 
Şimdiden çekilecek acısı bunun, 
duyulacak mahzunluğu şimdiden. 
Böylesine sevilecek bu dünya 
"Yaşadım" diyebilmen için... 
 

NAZIM HİKMET

Poems of Nazim Hikmet, translated by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk,
is published by Persea Books.

 

 



Edited (5/15/2012) by tunci
Edited (5/15/2012) by tunci
Edited (5/15/2012) by tunci

4.       tunci
7149 posts
 15 May 2012 Tue 04:19 pm

 

One of his impressive poem called " Kız çocuğu " was composed as a song and sung by many musician.  The poem is dedicated to Hiroşima Victims. Nazım expresses the cries of a little girl ten years after she lost her life. Zülfü Livaneli composed it. And its english translation known as "I Come and Stand at Every Door" composed by The Byrds which I like. You can listen the song the link below ;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac0CDpU44fA


I Come and Stand at Every Door

 I come and stand at every door
 But no one hears my silent tread
 I knock and yet remain unseen
 For I am dead, for I am dead.

 I´m only seven although I died
 In Hiroshima long ago
 I´m seven now as I was then
 When children die they do not grow.

 My hair was scorched by swirling flame
 My eyes grew dim, my eyes grew blind
 Death came and turned my bones to dust
 And that was scattered by the wind.

 I need no fruit, I need no rice
 I need no sweet, nor even bread
 I ask for nothing for myself
 For I am dead, for I am dead.

 All that I ask is that for peace
 You fight today, you fight today
 So that the children of this world
 May live and grow and laugh and play.



KIZÇOCUĞU


Kapıları çalan benim
kapıları birer birer.
Gözünüze görünemem
göze görünmez ölüler.

Hiroşima´da öleli
oluyor bir on yıl kadar.
Yedi yaşında bir kızım,
büyümez ölü çocuklar.

Saçlarım tutuştu önce,
gözlerim yandı kavruldu.
Bir avuç kül oluverdim,
külüm havaya savruldu.

Benim sizden kendim için
hiçbir şey istediğim yok.
Şeker bile yiyemez ki
kâat gibi yanan çocuk.

Çalıyorum kapınızı,
teyze, amca, bir imza ver.
Çocuklar öldürülmesin
şeker de yiyebilsinler.

[1956]


5.       slavica
814 posts
 16 May 2012 Wed 02:00 am

Nazım Hikmet is definitely one of the best, not just Turkish, but world´s poets and he absolutely deserves the place in this project. I´m just not sure about the chosen poem, because it is not quite specific for Nazım Hikmet, not only by style, but also by its topic. It sounds more like Neruda. Anyway, the most important thing is that his poem took part in this significant exhibition.

 

There are many threads about Nazım Hikmet in this forum, with lots of  information about the poet and our members´ translations of his poetry. I´ll mention just some of them:

Nâzım Hikmet RAN

Ben İçeri Düştüğümden Beri

GÖZLERINE BAKARKEN

Rubais from Nazim Hikmet

Last Will And Testament

SALKIM SÖĞÜT

KARAYILAN (kuvayi milliye destani)

Story of Hunchback Kerim

Story of Ismail from Arhave

 

Plus his poems in  Turkish Poetry Section .

6.       gokuyum
5050 posts
 17 May 2012 Thu 10:43 pm

 

Quoting tunci

 

One of his impressive poem called " Kız çocuğu " was composed as a song and sung by many musician.  The poem is dedicated to Hiroşima Victims. Nazım expresses the cries of a little girl ten years after she lost her life. Zülfü Livaneli composed it. And its english translation known as "I Come and Stand at Every Door" composed by The Byrds which I like. You can listen the song the link below ;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac0CDpU44fA


I Come and Stand at Every Door

 I come and stand at every door
 But no one hears my silent tread
 I knock and yet remain unseen
 For I am dead, for I am dead.

 I´m only seven although I died
 In Hiroshima long ago
 I´m seven now as I was then
 When children die they do not grow.

 My hair was scorched by swirling flame
 My eyes grew dim, my eyes grew blind
 Death came and turned my bones to dust
 And that was scattered by the wind.

 I need no fruit, I need no rice
 I need no sweet, nor even bread
 I ask for nothing for myself
 For I am dead, for I am dead.

 All that I ask is that for peace
 You fight today, you fight today
 So that the children of this world
 May live and grow and laugh and play.



KIZÇOCUĞU


Kapıları çalan benim
kapıları birer birer.
Gözünüze görünemem
göze görünmez ölüler.

Hiroşima´da öleli
oluyor bir on yıl kadar.
Yedi yaşında bir kızım,
büyümez ölü çocuklar.

Saçlarım tutuştu önce,
gözlerim yandı kavruldu.
Bir avuç kül oluverdim,
külüm havaya savruldu.

Benim sizden kendim için
hiçbir şey istediğim yok.
Şeker bile yiyemez ki
kâat gibi yanan çocuk.

Çalıyorum kapınızı,
teyze, amca, bir imza ver.
Çocuklar öldürülmesin
şeker de yiyebilsinler.

[1956]


This is really a great poem and I really like a lot some of Nazım´s poems. I also like his humanism. But what about this poem:

Makinalaşmak istiyorum / Nazım Hikmet- 1923

trrrrum,
trrrrum,
trrrrum!
trak tiki tak!
makinalaşmak istiyorum!

beynimden, etimden, iskeletimden geliyor bu!
her dinamoyu
altıma almak için çıldırıyorum!
tükrüklü dilim bakır telleri yalıyor,
damarlarımda kovalıyor
oto-direzinler lokomotifleri!
trrrrum,
trrrrum,
trak tiki tak
makinalaşmak istiyorum!
mutlak buna bir çare bulacağım
ve ben ancak bahtiyar olacağım
karnıma bir türbin oturtup
kuyruğuma çift uskuru taktığım gün!
trrrrum
trrrrum
trak tiki tak!
makinalaşmak istiyorum!

 

He says he wants to be a machine. That is the most disgusting thing for me. Being a robot, without any emotion and acting always according to a program. A human machine. That was what Stalin´s Russia wanted a long time ago. I really don´t understand how could he write such a poem.

7.       Abla
3647 posts
 17 May 2012 Thu 11:12 pm

Nazım Hikmet didn´t have just one face but many. I have been thinking these days what it ment to be a star like him in Stalin´s Soviet Union. It must have been a dissonant situation for a person like him. The poem you added, gokuyum, is just like an answer to my thoughts.

 

I wouldn´t take it too seriously, though. At some certain time modernists tried machine romanticism in every country. It was a fashion and it reflected some kind of fascination over the triumphs of technology. I guess it was typical to socialist realism also.

 

Ideologies come and go but what is left from poet Nazım´s work is his attitude to life.

 

This is one of my favourites. It is about being in jail but I guess its teachings can be generalized into any difficult periods in human life which you just have to live through: take care of your health, don´t underestimate your suffering but always think big.

 

 

HAPİSTE YATACAK OLANA BAZI ÖĞÜTLER 

 

Dünyadan memleketinden insandan
          umudun kesik değil diye
          ipe çekilmeyip de
          atılırsan içeriye
          yatarsan on yıl on beş yıl
          daha da yatacağından başka
sallansaydım ipin ucunda
              bir bayrak gibi keşke
                               demeyeceksin
yaşamakta ayak direyeceksin.

Belki bahtiyarlık değildir artık

boynunun borcudur fakat
                          düşmana inat
                          bir gün fazla yaşamak.

İçerde bir tarafınla yapyalnız kalabilirsin
                    kuyunun dibindeki taş gibi
fakat öbür tarafın
              öylesine karışmalı ki dünyanın kalabalığına
              sen ürpermelisin içerde
              dışarda kırk günlük yerde yaprak kıpırdasa.

İçerde mektup beklemek
yanık türküler söylemek bir de
bir de gözünü tavana dikip sabahlamak
            tatlıdır ama tehlikelidir.

Tıraştan tıraşa yüzüne bak
unut yaşını
koru kendini bitten
             bir de bahar akşamlarından.

Bir de ekmeği
           son lokmasına dek yemeyi
bir de ağız dolusu gülmeyi unutma hiçbir zaman.

Bir de kim bilir
sevdiğin kadın seni sevmez olur
ufak iş deme
yemyeşil bir dal kırılmış gibi gelir
                               içerdeki adama.

İçerde gülü bahçeyi düşünmek fena
dağları deryaları düşünmek iyi
durup dinlenmeden okumayı yazmayı
bir de dokumacılığı tavsiye ederim sana
bir de ayna dökmeyi.

Yani içerde on yıl on beş yıl
                       daha da fazlası hattâ
geçirilmez değil
                  geçirilir
                  kararmasın yeter ki
                  sol memenin altındaki cevahir.

 

There is a good translation here: http://www.sanatkedisi.com/forum/archive/index.php?t-2730.html

 

 

 

 

 

 



Edited (5/17/2012) by Abla

8.       gokuyum
5050 posts
 17 May 2012 Thu 11:30 pm

I will write a poem and its title will be "kedileşmek istiyorum"

9.       Abla
3647 posts
 17 May 2012 Thu 11:33 pm

Don´t forget to bring it to the forum once you finish.

10.       gokuyum
5050 posts
 17 May 2012 Thu 11:37 pm

 

Quoting Abla

Don´t forget to bring it to the forum once you finish.

 

I will {#emotions_dlg.yes}

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