[Skip Navigation]

Plagiarist Poetry Sites: Plagiarist.com | Poetry X | Poetry Discussion Forums | Open Poetry Project | Joycean.org
Enter our Poetry Contest
Win Cash and Publication!

Plagiarist.com Archive

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

Hymn To Life

Nazim Hikmet

The hair falling on your forehead
                           suddenly lifted.
Suddenly something stirred on the ground.
The trees are whispering
                        in the dark.
Your bare arms will be cold.

Far off
     where we can't see,
          the moon must be rising.
It hasn't reached us yet,
     slipping through the leaves
          to light up your shoulder.
But I know
           a wind comes up with the moon.
The trees are whispering.
Your bare arms will be cold.

From above,
from the branches lost in the dark,
                    something dropped at your feet.
You moved closer to me.
Under my hand your bare flesh is like the fuzzy skin of a fruit.
Neither a song of the heart nor "common sense"--
before the trees, birds, and insects,
my hand on my wife's flesh
                is thinking.
Tonight my hand
                 can't read or write.
Neither loving nor unloving...
It's the tongue of a leopard at a spring,
                                  a grape leaf,
                                      a wolf's paw.
To move, breathe, eat, drink.
My hand is like a seed
                    splitting open underground.
Neither a song of the heart nor "common sense,"
neither loving nor unloving.
My hand thinking on my wife's flesh
                              is the hand of the first man.
Like a root that finds water underground,
it says to me:
"To eat, drink, cold, hot, struggle, smell, color--
not to live in order to die
but to die to live..."

And now
as red female hair blows across my face,
as something stirs on the ground,
as the trees whisper in the dark,
and as the moon rises far off
                   where we can't see,
my hand on my wife's flesh
before the trees, birds, and insects,
I want the right of life,
of the leopard at the spring, of the seed splitting open--
                        I want the right of the first man.


Trans. by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk (1993) 

Added: 16 Jan 2002 | Last Read: 20 Jun 2018 12:59 PM | Viewed: 6960 times

A PoetryNotes™ Analysis of Hymn To Life by Nazim Hikmet, is Available!

A PoetryNotes™ eBook is available for this poem for delivery within 24 hours, and usually available within minutes during normal business hours.

ON SALE - only $29.95 19.95!

For more information...


URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/2421/ | Viewed on 20 June 2018.
Copyright ©2018 Plagiarist - All rights reserved.