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The Strangest Creature On Earth

Nazim Hikmet

You're like a scorpion, my brother,
you live in cowardly darkness
                    like a scorpion.
You're like a sparrow, my brother,
always in a sparrow's flutter.
You're like a clam, my brother,
closed like a clam, content,
And you're frightening, my brother,
                like the mouth of an extinct volcano.

Not one,
     not five--
unfortunately, you number millions.
You're like a sheep, my brother:
                     when the cloaked drover raises his stick,
                               you quickly join the flock
and run, almost proudly, to the slaughterhouse.
I mean you're strangest creature on earth--
even stranger than the fish
               that couldn't see the ocean for the water.
And the oppression in this world
                             is thanks to you.
And if we're hungry, tired, covered with blood,
and still being crushed like grapes for our wine,
                                          the fault is yours--
I can hardly bring myself to say it,
but most of the fault, my dear brother, is yours.



Trans. by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk (1993) 

Added: 16 Jan 2002 | Last Read: 25 Sep 2018 8:58 PM | Viewed: 4191 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/2432/ | Viewed on 25 September 2018.
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