Hailed by many as the author of hope, Turkish poet Nazım Hikmet, along with his profound optimism, could possibly be simply what the world wants now within the face of the Corona Virus pandemic.
“We will see lovely days youngsters / sunny days / We will sail our boats to the blue seas youngsters / to the brilliant blue seas,” wrote Hikmet within the 1930s – with the Great Depression hanging over a lot of the globe – in a poem titled “Optimism.”
Wednesday marks the 57th anniversary of the passing of the legendary Turkish poet.
At a look, his biography might make his optimism much more important: His books banned, he spent most of his life behind bars or in exile however continued to jot down.
Gündüz Vassaf, a prolific Turkish author and psychologist, described Hikmet’s expertise as “plainness, essence and sincerity.”
In the early years of his profession, Hikmet was cherished, and there have been even recordings of his poems on vinyl.
But “then Turkey hated him, he was declared a traitor,” Vassaf is quoted as saying by Haluk Oral in his 2019 guide “The Journey of Nazım Hikmet.”
Hikmet was born in 1902 into an elite household in Thessaloniki (Thessalonica), an Ottoman Empire territory in present-day Greece. He grew up in Anatolia, the Turkish heartland.
After finding out economics and political science in Moscow, he got here residence a Marxist in 1924, a yr after the brand new Turkish republic was based following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
He spent most of his grownup life in jail. During his time in jail, worldwide intellectuals corresponding to artist Pablo Picasso and thinker Jean-Paul Sartre urged his launch.
Leaving his mark worldwide
In 1951, Hikmet left Turkey endlessly to stay within the Soviet Union, from which he traveled to Eastern Europe, Cuba and different locations.
For this purpose, when Turks journey internationally in Russia or Cuba or Eastern Europe, it’s common to see Hikmet’s footprints within the cities the place he lived, both in a museum, as in Chile, or in a restaurant he used to frequent in Prague.
When he fled Turkey in 1951, Turkey stripped him of his citizenship, however restored it 58 years later, in 2009.
“Those few who knew his worth have been compelled to cover their love. Then he was rediscovered. This time we idolized him,” Vassaf was quoted as saying.
According to Vassaf, Turks are fortunate to have the ability to learn Hikmet of their native tongue, whereas these in the remainder of the world are usually not as lucky.
“If his mom language had been Spanish, French or English, Nazım Hikmet could be embraced (universally) like Shakespeare,” Vassaf mentioned, including: “Every situation of humanity is represented in his poetry.”
Vassaf additionally highlighted the best way Hikmet makes use of the Turkish language in his poetry, with notable readability, not like many different writers from that point, which many Turks have to maintain a dictionary on hand to have the ability to learn.
He additionally detailed some of the worldwide sources Hikmet drew upon to make him a real world poet:
“In his poems, he tells about Abyssinia (Ethiopia) after the Italian occupation.”
“He goes to the Louvre, writes about China by trying on the Mona Lisa, and about Indian historical past with Benerci (Banerjee),” Vassaf mentioned, referring to some of Hikmet’s best-known poems.
“He goes to Cuba and writes in regards to the energy of the resistance to American imperialism,” Vassaf wrote.
He writes about world historical past in his poems, Vassaf added.
UNESCO declared 2002 the Year of Nazım Hikmet to mark the 100th anniversary of his birthday.
After dying of a coronary heart assault in 1963 in Moscow, Hikmet stays buried there, though there have been makes an attempt to repatriate his stays to Turkey.