Nâzım Hikmet quotes

Nâzım Hikmet photo
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Nâzım Hikmet

Birthdate: 15. January 1902
Date of death: 3. June 1963
Other names: Nazim Hikmet

Nâzım Hikmet Ran , commonly known as Nâzım Hikmet was a Turkish poet, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, director and memoirist. He was acclaimed for the "lyrical flow of his statements". Described as a "romantic communist" and "romantic revolutionary", he was repeatedly arrested for his political beliefs and spent much of his adult life in prison or in exile. His poetry has been translated into more than fifty languages.

Quotes Nâzım Hikmet

„At eighteen you sleep without memories.“

—  Nâzım Hikmet

From Human Landscapes from My Country, Book Two, Section VII

„You may proclaim that one must live“

—  Nâzım Hikmet

From A Sad State Of Freedom
Context: You waste the attention of your eyes,
the glittering labour of your hands,
and knead the dough enough for dozens of loaves
of which you'll taste not a morsel;
you are free to slave for others—
you are free to make the rich richer.
The moment you're born
they plant around you
mills that grind lies
lies to last you a lifetime.
You keep thinking in your great freedom
a finger on your temple
free to have a free conscience.
Your head bent as if half-cut from the nape,
your arms long, hanging,
your saunter about in your great freedom:
you're free
with the freedom of being unemployed.
You love your country
as the nearest, most precious thing to you.
But one day, for example,
they may endorse it over to America,
and you, too, with your great freedom—
you have the freedom to become an air-base.
You may proclaim that one must live
not as a tool, a number or a link
but as a human being—
then at once they handcuff your wrists.
You are free to be arrested, imprisoned
and even hanged.
There's neither an iron, wooden
nor a tulle curtain
in your life;
there's no need to choose freedom:
you are free.
But this kind of freedom
is a sad affair under the stars.

„You are free to be arrested, imprisoned“

—  Nâzım Hikmet

From A Sad State Of Freedom
Context: You waste the attention of your eyes,
the glittering labour of your hands,
and knead the dough enough for dozens of loaves
of which you'll taste not a morsel;
you are free to slave for others—
you are free to make the rich richer.
The moment you're born
they plant around you
mills that grind lies
lies to last you a lifetime.
You keep thinking in your great freedom
a finger on your temple
free to have a free conscience.
Your head bent as if half-cut from the nape,
your arms long, hanging,
your saunter about in your great freedom:
you're free
with the freedom of being unemployed.
You love your country
as the nearest, most precious thing to you.
But one day, for example,
they may endorse it over to America,
and you, too, with your great freedom—
you have the freedom to become an air-base.
You may proclaim that one must live
not as a tool, a number or a link
but as a human being—
then at once they handcuff your wrists.
You are free to be arrested, imprisoned
and even hanged.
There's neither an iron, wooden
nor a tulle curtain
in your life;
there's no need to choose freedom:
you are free.
But this kind of freedom
is a sad affair under the stars.

„Loneliness feels like prison.“

—  Nâzım Hikmet

From New Year's Eve (23 March 1956)

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„At eighteen you don't think about memories,
you tell them.“

—  Nâzım Hikmet

From Human Landscapes from My Country, Book Two, Section VII

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