Thursday, August 04, 2005

Nazim Hikmet

Turkish communist poet, political prisoner, Nazim Hikmet (1902-1963) was released from jail in 1950 after international protest. He spent the rest of his life in exile. I don't know when he wrote the following poem. But it seems timely to quote it.
I Come and Stand at Every Door

I come and stand at every door
But no one hears my silent tread
I knock and yet remain unseen
For I am dead, for I am dead.

I'm only seven although I died
In Hiroshima long ago
I'm seven now as I was then
When children die they do not grow.

My hair was scorched by swirling flame
My eyes grew dim, my eyes grew blind
Death came and turned my bones to dust
And that was scattered by the wind.

I need no fruit, I need no rice
I need no sweet, nor even bread
I ask for nothing for myself
For I am dead, for I am dead.

All that I ask is that for peace
You fight today, you fight today
So that the children of this world
May live and grow and laugh and play.

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