Nazim Hikmet

(1902-1963 / Turkey)

Regarding Art - Poem by Nazim Hikmet

Sometimes, I, too, tell the ah's
of my heart one by one
like the blood-red beads
of a ruby rosary strung
on strands of golden hair!

But my
poetry's muse
takes to the air
on wings made of steel
like the I-beams
of my suspension bridges!

I don't pretend
the nightingale's lament
to the rose isn't easy on the ears...
But the language
that really speaks to me
are Beethoven sonatas played
on copper, iron, wood, bone, and catgut...

You can "have"
galloping off
in a cloud of dust!
Me, I wouldn't trade
for the purest-bred
Arabian steed
the sixth mph
of my iron horse
running on iron tracks!

Sometimes my eye is caught like a big dumb fly
by the masterly spider webs in the corners of my room.
But I really look up
to the seventy-seven-story, reinforced-concrete mountains
my blue-shirted builders create!

Were I to meet
the male beauty
"young Adonis, god of Byblos,"
on a bridge, I'd probably never notice;
but I can't help staring into my philosopher's glassy eyes
or my fireman's square face
red as a sweating sun!

Though I can smoke
third-class cigarettes filled
on my electric workbenches,
I can't roll tobacco - even the finest-
in paper by hand and smoke it!
I didn't --
"wouldn't" -- trade
my wife dressed in her leather cap and jacket
for Eve's nakedness!
Maybe I don't have a "poetic soul"?
What can I do
when I love my own children
more
than mother Nature's!


Trans. by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk (1993)


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Read poems about / on: concrete, sometimes, poetry, horse, red, running, nature, rose, children, hair, mother, beauty, sun, god, child



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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