"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”…”
-Nâzım Hikmet, “On Living"
"What of Hazim Hikmet whose room
for thirteen years was a cell? Who
every night waded in water and pulled nets
out of the sea, the silver fish mixed
with the stars. Who every morning
imagined his execution- […]
One day the guards
came for him, came to his room,
and brought him outside
for the first time. He was amazed
by how far away the sky was.
While Nazim was in prison, he wrote
Things I Didn’t Know I Loved.
He names them - sun, tree, roads
The list is long - sea, clouds, rain, night.
What is it, I wonder, I didn’t know
-Joseph Stroud, from “Rooms"
"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” …”
-Nazim Hikmet, Trans. by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk
from “On Living"
I stand in the advancing light,
my hands hungry, the world beautiful.
My eyes can’t get enough of the trees–
they’re so hopeful, so green.
A sunny road runs through the mulberries,
I’m at the window of the prison infirmary.
I can’t smell the medicines–
carnations must be blooming nearby.
It’s this way:
being captured is beside the point,
the point is not to surrender.
Nazim Hikmet, It’s This Way