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A Sad State Of Freedom – Poem by Nazim Hikmet

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On December 19, 2016
Last modified:December 19, 2016

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A Sad State Of Freedom – Poem by Nazim Hikmet

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.
Translated by Taner Baybars.




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