One of my dearest
My fellow countrymen know
me well, and they know I never keep to the
subject. While talking of these people present now
in our country, who are here to show the growing
importance of communist in the political and moral
tissue of our times, I would like also to talk of
His absence is a terrible thing
for poetry in general, and for my own heart in
particular. A short while ago, Nâzım Hikmet, a
great poet and one of my dearest comrades, died in
Moscow. One of the greatest communists of our time
has died, far from his homeland, Turkey. It was
the Soviet Union, generous mother-figure of all
those who are persecuted.
WINTERS CROWN FOR NÂZIM
Why have you died Nâzım? And now
we do without your songs?
Where will we
find the source?
Where will your great
smile be waiting for us?
What will we do
without your stance.
Without your inflexible
Where will we find eyes like
Containing the fire and the water
demanding truth, weeping compassion and courageous
Brother, you taught me so many
That were I to take them apart they
might vanish and feel like
Snow, far away there
in the land you chose while living
also holds you in death.
A spray of Chilean
The cold moon of the
South Seas month of June
And something else:
the peoples combat in my country
And in yours
the muted beat of a drum in mourning.
Brother, soldier, how lonely now is the eart for
Without your face blooming like a golden
Without your friendship which was the
bread I ate, the water
that quenched my thirst
and the energy of my blood.
I saw you arrive
from prisons that were like sombre wells
of cruelty, of error and pain.
I caught the
traces of punishment in your hands and I
your eyes for the poison of
But your heart was radiant
wounded heart carried only light.
And now? I
ask myself, Let me see think
Imagine the world
without the flower you gave me
battle without you to show me
clarity and the poets honour
Thanks for what
you were and for the fire
Your song left
Translation from the
Spanish. Susan Drucker-Brown
Nâzım died, Neruda took the opportunity of a
speech he gave in Bustamente
Santiago, Chile, on 29 Semtember 1963, to add
these emotional words.
Quoted from To live,
free and single like a tree /
but in brotherhood like a
forest edited by Erhan