Nazim Hikmet Poems

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Optimistic Man

as a child he never plucked the wings off flies
he didn't tie tin cans to cats' tails
or lock beetles in matchboxes
or stomp anthills

Hymn To Life

The hair falling on your forehead
suddenly lifted.
Suddenly something stirred on the ground.
The trees are whispering

Letters From A Man In Solitary

I carved your name on my watchband
with my fingernail.
Where I am, you know,

A Sad State Of Freedom

You waste the attention of your eyes,
the glittering labour of your hands,
and knead the dough enough for dozens of loaves
of which you'll taste not a morsel;

On Living


Living is no laughing matter:
you must live with great seriousness

Things I Didn'T Know I Loved

it's 1962 March 28th
I'm sitting by the window on the Prague-Berlin train
night is falling
I never knew I liked

Five Lines

To overcome lies in the heart, in the streets, in the books
from the lullabies of the mothers
to the news report that the speaker reads,

Letter To My Wife

Bursa Prison
My one and only!
Your last letter says:

It's This Way

I stand in the advancing light,
my hands hungry, the world beautiful.

My eyes can't get enough of the trees--

Some Advice To Those Who Will Serve Time In Prison

If instead of being hanged by the neck
you're thrown inside
for not giving up hope
in the world, your country, your people,

10 of the Best Nazim Hikmet Poems! Love and  Poems 

Nazim Hikmet is one of the most important poets of Turkish literature. He has hundreds of beautiful poems so it is hard to choose only 10 of them. These poems are translated from Turkish so they can sound a little bit weird but they are beautiful in Turkish. Some of his poems having reform in form and sensitivity. Here, there 10 of the best Nazim Hikmet poems. There are love, free and socialist realist poetry by Nazim Hikmet.

10. 24 September 1945

The most beautiful sea
                           hasn’t been crossed yet.
The most beautiful child
                           hasn’t grown up yet
Our most beautiful days
                           we haven’t seen yet.
And the most beautiful words I wanted to tell you
                           I haven’t said yet…

9. Buildings and Builders

Builders are singing while building
            but building isn’t like singing.
It’s a little more difficult.
Builders’ hearts, bustling like fairgrounds
            but building sites are not fairgrounds.
Building sites are full of dust, earth,
            mud, snow.
On a building site you get your foot sprained,
                      your hands bleed.
On a building site,
neither is the tea always sweet and hot
nor is the bread fresh and soft
neither is everyone a hero
nor are friends always faithful.
Building isn’t like singing.
It’s a little more difficult.
Yes, difficult it is,
             but the building is rising regardless.
Flower pots have already appeared
                     on the windowsills of the lower floors.
The birds carry, on their wings, the sun
                     to the newly completed balconies.
There is a heartbeat
in every beam, in every column, in every brick
Yes, it is rising, it is rising
the building is rising in blood and sweat.

8. Don Quixote

The knight of immortal youth
at the age of fifty found his mind in his heart
and on a July morning went out to capture
the right, the beautiful, the just.
Facing him a world of silly and arrogant giants,
he on his sad but brave Rocinante.
I know what it means to be longing for something,
but if your heart weighs only a pound
                                         and sixteen ounces,
there’s no sense, my Don, in fighting
                                           these senseless windmills.
But you are right, of course, Dulcinea is your women,
the most beautiful in the world;
I’m sure you’ll shout this fact
at the face of street-traders;
but they”ll pull you down from your horse
and beat you up.
But you, the unbeatable knight of our cause,
will continue to glow behind the heavy, iron visor
and Dulcinea will become even more beautiful.

7. Invitation

Galloping from farthest Asia
and jutting out into the Mediterranean
like a mare’s head—
this country is ours.
Wrists in blood, teeth clenched, feet bare
on this soil that’s like a silk carpet—
this hell, this paradise is ours.
Shut the gates of servitude, keep them shut,
stop man worship another man—
this invitation is ours.
To live, free and single like a tree
but in brotherhood like a forest—
this longing is ours.

6. It’s Snowing in the Night

Neither to hear voices from the world beyond
nor strive to bring into my verses the “unfathomable”
nor search for the rhyme with the care of a jeweler,
no beautiful words, profound discourse
                      Thank God
                                  I am above
                                            well above this tonight.
I am a street singer, there is no talent in my voice;
my voice is singing for you a song you will not hear.
It is snowing in the night,
You are at the door of Madrid.
In front of you an army
           killing the most beautiful things we own,
                      hope, yearning, freedom and children,
                                              The City. . . .
It is snowing
And perhaps tonight
your wet feet are cold.
It is snowing
And while I am thinking about you
a bullet might be hitting you right now;
then for you no more
            snow, wind, day or night. . . .
It is snowing.
Before you stood at the door of Madrid
            saying “no pasaran”
            you must have been living somewhere.
Who knows
you came from the coal mines of the Asturias
Perhaps around your head a bloody bandage
hides a wound you got in the North.
 And perhaps you were the one who fired the last shot in the suburbs
while the “Junkers” were burning Bilbao.
Or perhaps you were a hired hand
on the farm of some Count Fernando Valeskeras de Cordoban
Perhaps you had a small shop on the “Plaza del Sol”
you sold colorful Spanish fruits.
Perhaps you had no craft, perhaps you had a beautiful voice.
Perhaps you were a student of philosophy or law
and your books were crushed by the wheels of an Italian tank
on the campus of your University.
Perhaps you did not believe in heaven
and perhaps you have on your chest
a little cross hanging on a string.
Who are you, what is your name, when were you born?
I have never seen, I will never see your face.
Who knows
Perhaps it looks like the faces
of those who beat Kolchak in Siberia;
Perhaps it looks like the face
of someone who lies on the battlefield of Dumlupinar*
you might even look something like Robespierre.
I have never seen, I will never see your face,
you have never heard, you will never hear my name.
There are between us seas and mountains,
                       my cursed helplessness,
and the “Committee of Non-Intervention”
I cannot come to you
I cannot even send you
                      a case of cartridges 
                                  fresh eggs
                                              or o pair of woolen socks.
And yet I know,
in this cold snowy weather
your wet feet guarding the door of Madrid
are cold like two naked children.
I know,
everything great and beautiful there is,
everything great and beautiful man has still to create
that is, everything my nostalgic soul hopes for
Smiles in the eyes
            of the sentry at the door of ked.
And tomorrow, like yesterday, like tonight
I can do nothing else but love him

5. Like Kerem

Air is heavy as lead.
I cry
I’m crying.
to melt
the lead
He says to me,
“Heey! Your voice may turn you to ash
like Kerem
are deaf.
Air is heavy as lead.”
I say to him,
“May that I turn
to ash
like Kerem
If I don’t burn
if you don’t burn
if we don’t burn
how will darkness
ever turn
into light?”
Air is pregnant as the soil,
air is heavy as lead.
I cry
I’m crying.
I’m calling you
to melt
this lead
this lead
this lead...

4. I Want to Die Before You

want to die before you.
Do you think the one who follows
finds the one who went first?
I don’t think so.
It would be best to have me burned
and put in a jar
              over your fireplace.
Make the jar
clear glass,
               so you can watch me inside. . .
You see my sacrifice:
I give up being earth,
I give up being a flower,
                                        just to stay near you.
And I become dust
to live with you.
Then, when you die,
you can come into my jar
and we’ll live there together,
your ashes with mine,
until some dizzy bride
or wayward grandson
tosses us out. . .
by then
we’ll be
so mixed
that even at the dump our atoms
                              will fall by side by side.
We’ll dive into the earth together.
And if one day a wild flower
finds water and springs up from that piece of earth,
İts stem will have
two blooms for sure:
                             one will be you,
                             the other me.
I’m not
about to die yet.
I want to bear another child.
I’m full of life.
My blood is hot.
I’ll live a long, long time─
with you.
Death doesn’t scare me,
and with you.
Death doesn’t scare me,
I just don’t find our funeral arrangements
                                too attractive.
But everything could change
before I die.
Any chance you’ll get out of prison soon?
Something inside me says:

3. Letters to Taranta-Babu Five

To see
           to hear
                       to feel
                                   to think
                                                to speak
to run without stopping,
to run
         oh, to run
To hell with it all
                         what a beautiful
it is to be alive!
Think of me
while my arms embrace your wide hips
          mother to my tree children,
think of the sound of a naked drop of water
             dropping on a black stone.
Think of the colour
          the flesh, the name of the fruit
you like most,
think of its taste in your eyes
          of the red red sun,
                        pure green grass
                        and of the huge blue blue ray
blossoming fort from the moon.
Think, Taranta-Babu:
                         and arm
have pulled from the seventh depth
                                                 of the Earth
and shaped so many fire-eyed, steel gods
who now can destroy the world
                         with a single blow;
the pomegranate that fruits one in one year
           can fruit one thousand;
and the world is so large
so beautiful
                  and the shores so infinite
that at night we can lie on the sand
                 and hear the starred water.
How wonderful it is to be alive
                   how wonderful Life is!
To understand it as a masterpiece
to hear it as a song of love
and to live like a child wondering,
to live
          on by one
                          but all together
as if weaving the most wonderful silk cloth.
Ah, to live...
But how odd, Taranta-Babu
‘this incredibly beautiful activity’
this most joyful feel of all things
has become
so difficult
so narrow
so bloody

2. On Living

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 life.
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’ve 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.
Let’s say we’re 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’re at the front—
for something worth fighting for, say.
There, in the first offensive, on that very day,
we might fail 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.
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” ...

1. The Great Human Kind

The great humankind, deck passengers on the boats
                  third class on the trains
                                           on foot on the highways
                                           the great humankind.
The great humankind begins to work at the age of eight
                  weds at twenty
                  dies at forty
                   the great humankind
There is enough bread  
            for all except for the great humankind
                   and enough rice
                   and enough sugar 
                   and enough fabrics           
                   and enough books
            for all except for the great humankind.
There is no shade in the great humankind’s fields
                             no lamps in its streets
                             no glass in its windows.
But the great humankind does have hope,
                            one cannot live without hope

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