Nazim Hikmet

(1902-1963 / Turkey)

A Sad State Of Freedom - Poem by Nazim Hikmet

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;
you are free to slave for others--
you are free to make the rich richer.

The moment you're born
they plant around you
mills that grind lies
lies to last you a lifetime.
You keep thinking in your great freedom
a finger on your temple
free to have a free conscience.

Your head bent as if half-cut from the nape,
your arms long, hanging,
your saunter about in your great freedom:
you're free
with the freedom of being unemployed.

You love your country
as the nearest, most precious thing to you.
But one day, for example,
they may endorse it over to America,
and you, too, with your great freedom--
you have the freedom to become an air-base.

You may proclaim that one must live
not as a tool, a number or a link
but as a human being--
then at once they handcuff your wrists.
You are free to be arrested, imprisoned
and even hanged.

There's neither an iron, wooden
nor a tulle curtain
in your life;
there's no need to choose freedom:
you are free.
But this kind of freedom
is a sad affair under the stars.


Translated by Taner Baybars


Comments about A Sad State Of Freedom by Nazim Hikmet

  • (2/12/2018 9:37:00 AM)


    That speaks to my current lifestyle ever since i have been unemployed i got arrested 7 times (Report) Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Wilson Waison (1/13/2018 5:00:00 AM)


    NYC piece of art. Thanks for sharing, you might also check with mine entitled motherland (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (2/12/2015 4:07:00 AM)


    Nice piece of work. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

    E.K.L.
    (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »



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Read poems about / on: freedom, america, sad, star



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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