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Apr 12, 2011

Letter To My Wife

My one and only!
Your last letter says:
``My head is throbbing,
        my heart is stunned!''
You say:
``If they hang you,
    if I lose you,
       I'll die!''
You'll live, my dear-
my memory will vanish like black smoke in the wind.
Of course you'll live, red-haired lady of my heart:
in the twentieth century
      grief lasts
    at most a year.

Death-
a body swinging from a rope.
My heart
  can't accept such a death.
But
you can bet
     if some poor gypsy's hairy black
        spidery hand
    slips a noose
        around my neck,
they'll look in vain for fear
        in Nazim's
     blue eyes!
In the twilight of my last morning
I
will see my friends and you,
and I'll go
to my grave
     regretting nothing but an unfinished song...
My wife!
Good-hearted,
golden,
eyes sweeter than honey-my bee!
Why did I write you
     they want to hang me?
The trial has hardly begun,
and they don't just pluck a man's head
        like a turnip.
Look, forget all this.
If you have any money,
        buy me some flannel underwear:
my sciatica is acting up again.
And don't forget,
a prisoner's wife
        must always think good thoughts.

Original poem: KARIMA MEKTUP
Written by NAZIM HİKMET RAN (Nov 11,1933 - Bursa Prison)          
Translated by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk (1993)

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