Home Page Nâzım Hikmet Works Foundation Türkçe
Kıymet Coşkun, 20 Nisan 2002/Houston

To live like a tree, lonely and free
To live as brothers like trees in a forest,
This dream is ours!

Since January 2002 , in Turkey and many other parts of the world, Nâzım Hikmet is being celebrated through meetings, Theatrical events, concerts and exhibitions. His life style is being explained in every way to understand him better.

Our goal is as Nâzım Hikmet's friends, to bring out his life style, his art, his outlook of world and ideology as a whole, during these, events we participate

We know it is difficult to separate, Nâzım Hikmet's superb poetry from his political views. We also know it will be wrong to accept him only as a poet and opposing his political believes and life style.

Nazım Hikmet passed almost 40 years ago. (Next year we will celebrate 40" anniversary of his passing). During his life he encountered heavy pressure. His books were outlawed. His poems were secretly distributed among his admirers. People who caught with his books and poems punished severely.

During his lifetime the Fascism was on the rise. Later came the cold war. When anti-communism became popular, Nazım Hikmet could not live in his own country with a false identity. Just like Victor Hugo, Charlie Chaplin and Pablo Neruda...

Citizens of Nazım Hikmet's homeland, lived through pressures, experiments of democracy, military regime and cold war within last fifty year

During these hard years Nazım Hikmet's books are also suffered like people. They were collected, mutilated even burned.

Today Nâzım Hikmet's poems are loved and read by the people. New generation trying to understand him and his hope for free society. In an age where all the boundaries are lifted, meaning of freedom is defined and better understood still some people are trying to label Nâzım Hikmet as traitor. This is an indication of his effectiveness as poet and his greatness.


I was born in 1902
I never once went back to my birthplace
I don’t like to turn back
at three I served as a pasha’s grandson in Aleppo
at nineteen as a student at Moscow Communist University
at forty-nine I was back in Moscow as the Tcheka Party’s guest
and I’ve been a poet since I was fourteen

some people know all about plants some about fish
I know separation
some people know the names of the stars by heart
I recite absences
I’ve slept in prisons and in grand hotels
I’ve known hunger even a hunger strike and there’s almost no food
I haven’t tasted
at thirty they wanted to hang me
at forty-eight to give me the Peace Prize
which they did

at thirty-six I covered four square meters of concrete in half a year
at fift-nine I flew from Prague to Havana in eighteen hours

I never saw Lenin I stood watch at his coffin in ‘24
in’61 the tomb I visit is his books

they tried to tear me away from my party
it didn’t work
nor was I crushed under falling idols

in ’51 I sailed with a toung friend into the teeth of death
in ’52 I spent four months flat on my back with a broken heart

waiting to die
I was jealous of the women I lowed
I didn’t envy Charlie Chaplin one bit
I deceived my women

I never talked behind my friends’ backs
I drank but not every day

I earned my bread money honestly what happiness
out of embarrassment for others I lied
I lied so as not to hurt someone else
but I also lied for no reason at all

I’ve ridden in trains planes and cars
most people don’t get the chance
I went to the opera
most people haven’t even heard of the opera
and since’21 I haven’t gone to the places most people visit
mosques churches temples synagogues sorcerers
but I’ve had my coffee grounds read
my writings are published in thirty or forty languages
in my Turkey in my Turkish they’re banned

cancer hasn’t caught up with me yet
and nothing says it will
I’ll never be a prime minister or anything like that
and I wouldn’nt want such a life

nor did I go to war
or burrow in bomb shelters in the bottom of the night
and I never had to take to the road under diving planes
but I fell in love at almost sixty
in short comrades
even if today in Berlin I’m croaking of grief
I can say I’ve lived like a human being
and who knows
how much longer I’ll live
what else will happen to me

This autobiography was written
In East Berlin on 11 September 1961

Year 2002 is Nâzım Hikmet's 100" birth year. Nâzım Hikmet was born in Selanik.

The Poet Of Hope
On His Poetry
Nâzım and Cinema
Nâzım's struggle

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