Poems of Nazim Hikmet

Poems of Nazim Hikmet

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by Nazim Hikmet

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The definitive selection by the first and foremost modern Turkish poet.See more details below


The definitive selection by the first and foremost modern Turkish poet.

Editorial Reviews

“Brilliantly conceived and executed, witty and passionate, and inspiring in a sense not found in most modern poems.”
The Boston Phoenix
“These translations are so colloquial, one forgets one isn't reading the originals.”
Multicultural Review
“One of the great poetic voices of all time.”
World Literature Today
“A potent testament to the Turkish poet's genius.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A leading modern Turkish poet, Hikmet (1902-1963) once wrote from prison, ``In the twentieth century / grief lasts / at most a year.'' First jailed in 1924 at the age of 22 for working on a leftist magazine, he spent 18 years incarcerated. Hikmet was awarded the World Peace Prize in 1950, the same year as he gained his release from jail, only to be exiled from Turkey in 1951 for the last 13 years of his life. The poet evidently never lost his faith in social justice. His love of life apparently didn't weaken, and his poems resonate with its power: ``Shot through ten years of bondage like a bullet, / . . . my heart is still the same heart, my head still the same head.'' But to consider Hikmet a political poet only is to miss his gift, and a temperament infected with joy. In ``Occupation'' he writes, ``In the afternoon heat I pick olives, / the leaves the loveliest of greens: / I'm light from head to toe.'' The translations by Blasing and Mutlu Konak convey the power and originality of the work; there are no weak poems here. As Hikmet grew, he delivered a richness and humanity unparalleled in its freedom from bitterness in poems like ``Things I Didn't Know I Loved,'' ``After Getting Out of Prison'' and ``The Last Bus.'' (Apr.)
Library Journal
This volume selects poems of Hikmet (1902-63) that the editors consider ``his best both in Turkish and in translation.'' A huge figure in Turkey, Hikmet was the archetypal exile. Outspoken and revolutionary, in and out of prison until 1952, he traveled until his death. His prison poems are deservedly famous, but those from the 1950s-set in Budapest, Moscow, Prague, and Warsaw-express a visceral longing for birthplace: ``my heart exploding like a hand grenade.'' Sensual and spiritual, they transcend everything that represses the psyche. A sublime humility lifts these sad, immensely ``life-loving'' poems above Cold War angst into universal statements of compassion for suffering. Replacing Selected Poetry (LJ 10/1/86), this comprehensive volume contains 15 unpublished poems, selections from longer poems, and ``Rubaiyat,'' which is only available in a private printing. Recommended for international literature collections.-Frank Allen, West Virginia State Coll., Institute

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Product Details

Persea Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Revised & Expanded Second Edition
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Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

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