Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Nazim Hikmet

Nâzım Hikmet Ran
I'm in revisions right now, so my research-type blogging is on hold (until June 10), BUT I thought I'd feature some brilliant Turkish writers who inspire me.

The poet on the right is Nobel Peace Price winner, Nâzım Hikmet. His life story is very long, very international, and very interesting. He's one of those Third Culture Kid (TCK) people I so admire.  I won't go into details here, but I do suggest you go read his biography.

His work has a haunting quality that people connect with, so much that his work has been translated into many languages.

So, in honor of the Olympic Games, the British Arts Council will be featuring "World Poems on the Underground", (metro system walls) and the project has chosen to display Hikmet's poem:

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.

You might have heard some of Hikmet's poetry in other places, for example:

"I Come and Stand at Every Door" from Mortal Coil.

This same song was a release by The Byrds too. That was before my time, but some messages are immortal. Ha! An immortal message sung by Mortal Coil.


Sarah said...

Fascinating (and a beautiful poem)! I'll have to go read his biography! Good luck with your revisions, Carolyn.

Unknown said...

What a wonderful post and thank you for introducing me to this great poet.

Connie Keller said...

Beautiful poetry. Thanks for sharing it. I don't think I've read anything by this poet before.

Deniz Bevan said...

Great post, Carolyn! I'm slowly working my through an anthology of twentieth century Turkish poets...

Southpaw said...

Wonderful poem. Thanks for sharing someone new to me.

LTM said...

"my heart goes out like a raft into the endless absence" --ooo... :D Love! <3

Matthew MacNish said...

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