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More poems by Nazim HikmetNazim Hikmet | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by Nazim HikmetBooks by Nazim Hikmet

A Spring Piece Left In The Middle

Nazim Hikmet

Taut, thick fingers punch
the teeth of my typewriter.
Three words are down on paper
                    in capitals:
SPRING
      SPRING
            SPRING...
And me -- poet, proofreader,
the man who's forced to read
two thousand bad lines
   every day
      for two liras--
why,
    since spring
         has come, am I
             still sitting here
                like a ragged 
                    black chair?
My head puts on its cap by itself,
     I fly out of the printer's,
        I'm on the street.
The lead dirt of the composing room
                       on my face,
seventy-five cents in my pocket.
                   SPRING IN THE AIR...

In the barbershops
     they're powdering
         the sallow cheeks
              of the pariah of Publishers Row.
And in the store windows
     three-color bookcovers
        flash like sunstruck mirrors.
But me,
I don't have even a book of ABC's
that lives on this street
and carries my name on its door!
But what the hell...
I don't look back,
the lead dirt of the composing room
                       on my face,
seventy-five cents in my pocket,
              SPRING IN THE AIR...
              
                  *
                  
The piece got left in the middle.
It rained and swamped the lines.
But oh! what I would have written...
The starving writer sitting on his three-thousand-page
                             three-volume manuscript
wouldn't stare at the window of the kebab joint
but with his shining eyes would take
the Armenian bookseller's dark plump daughter by storm...
The sea would start smelling sweet.
Spring would rear up
         like a sweating red mare
and, leaping onto its bare back,
                       I'd ride it
              into the water.
Then
    my typewriter would follow me
             every step of the way.
I'd say:
        "Oh, don't do it!
        Leave me alone for an hour..."
then
my head-my hair failing out--
         would shout into the distance:
            "I AM IN LOVE..."
            
                *
                
I'm twenty-seven,
she's seventeen.
"Blind Cupid,
lame Cupid,
both blind and lame Cupid
said, Love this girl,"
                       I was going to write;
                          I couldn't say it
                              but still can!
But if
       it rained,
if the lines I wrote got swamped,
if I have twenty-five cents left in my pocket,
                                     what the hell...
Hey, spring is here spring is here spring
                                   spring is here!
My blood is budding inside me!


                           20 and 21 April 1929
                                
                                
Trans. by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk (1993) 

Added: 16 Jan 2002 | Last Read: 16 Oct 2018 5:44 PM | Viewed: 4033 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/2415/ | Viewed on 16 October 2018.
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