Desmond Painter. Terug na Turkye 2 (Nazim Hikmet)

Nazim Hikmet

Nazim Hikmet

Nazim Hikmet is Turkye se beroemdste en waarskynlik belangrikste digter. Hy is in 1902 in Thessaloniki gebore, toe nog deel van die Ottomaanse Ryk (vandag is dit natuurlik deel van Griekeland). Hy was ‘n politieke aktivis (sommige verwys na hom as ‘n “romantiese kommunis” of “romantiese rewolusionêr” — beskrywings waarna elke skrywer myns insiens gerus maar kan streef!) en het lang tye in die tronk en in ballingskap deurgebring. Hy is in 1963 in Moskou oorlede. Sy wens was om onder ‘n plataanboom in enige kleindorpse begraafplaas in Anatolië tot rus te kom, maar daardie wens is tot op hede nog nie geëer nie. Sy Turkse burgerskap, wat in 1959 herroep is, is darem in 2009 herstel. Hier is een van sy pragtige gedigte in Engelse vertaling:

  

 

On Living, deur Nazim Hikmet 

I

Living is no laughing matter:
you must live with great seriousness
like a squirrel, for example–
I mean without looking for something beyond and above living,
I mean living must be your whole occupation.
Living is no laughing matter:
you must take it seriously,
so much so and to such a degree
that, for example, your hands tied behind your back,
your back to the wall,
or else in a laboratory
in your white coat and safety glasses,
you can die for people–
even for people whose faces you’ve never seen,
even though you know living
is the most real, the most beautiful thing.
I mean, you must take living so seriously
that even at seventy, for example, you’ll plant olive trees–
and not for your children, either,
but because although you fear death you don’t believe it,
because living, I mean, weighs heavier.

II

Let’s say you’re seriously ill, need surgery–
which is to say we might not get
from the white table.
Even though it’s impossible not to feel sad
about going a little too soon,
we’ll still laugh at the jokes being told,
we’ll look out the window to see it’s raining,
or still wait anxiously
for the latest newscast …
Let’s say we’re at the front–
for something worth fighting for, say.
There, in the first offensive, on that very day,
we might fall on our face, dead.
We’ll know this with a curious anger,
but we’ll still worry ourselves to death
about the outcome of the war, which could last years.
Let’s say we’re in prison
and close to fifty,
and we have eighteen more years, say,
before the iron doors will open.
We’ll still live with the outside,
with its people and animals, struggle and wind–
I mean with the outside beyond the walls.
I mean, however and wherever we are,
we must live as if we will never die.

III

This earth will grow cold,
a star among stars
and one of the smallest,
a gilded mote on blue velvet–
I mean this, our great earth.
This earth will grow cold one day,
not like a block of ice
or a dead cloud even
but like an empty walnut it will roll along
in pitch-black space …
You must grieve for this right now
–you have to feel this sorrow now–
for the world must be loved this much
if you’re going to say “I lived” …

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4 Kommentare op “Desmond Painter. Terug na Turkye 2 (Nazim Hikmet)”

  1. Louis :

    Nóú praat jy mos, Desmond! Een van die wonderlikste leeservarings in ‘n bepaalde boekwinkel op Stellenbosch is Hikmet se “Human Landscape from My Country”; sogenaamd ‘n ‘epic novel’ in versvorm.
    Dan wil ek sommer ook hierby aanhaak met ‘n skakel na ‘n vorige Nuuswekker wat ek oor Hikmet se nalatenskap gepleeg het. Gaan kyk by: https://versindaba.co.za/2010/07/06/nazim-hikmet-se-nalatenskap-te-koop-aangebied/
    Lieflike verse, inderdaad.

  2. Desmond :

    Louis, hierdie blogger gaan nog daai boek kom koop, en kom gesels — hy moet net sy draaie kry…

  3. Breyten Breytenbach :

    Desmond – nou krap jy baie na aan my hart. Dankie vir die herinnering aan ons rooikopvriend.

  4. Louis :

    Bly om te hoor dat jy belangstel, Desmond. Dis ‘n dikke derduiwel en daarom ietwat duurder as die gebruiklike. Maar elke sent die moeite werd. Myns insiens een van die grootste tekste ter wêreld.

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