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A Spring Piece Left In The Middle - Poem by Nazim Hikmet

Taut, thick fingers punch
the teeth of my typewriter.
Three words are down on paper
in capitals:
SPRING
SPRING
SPRING...
And me -- poet, proofreader,
the man who's forced to read
two thousand bad lines
every day
for two liras--
why,
since spring
has come, am I
still sitting here
like a ragged
black chair?
My head puts on its cap by itself,
I fly out of the printer's,
I'm on the street.
The lead dirt of the composing room
on my face,
seventy-five cents in my pocket.
SPRING IN THE AIR...

In the barbershops
they're powdering
the sallow cheeks
of the pariah of Publishers Row.
And in the store windows
three-color bookcovers
flash like sunstruck mirrors.
But me,
I don't have even a book of ABC's
that lives on this street
and carries my name on its door!
But what the hell...
I don't look back,
the lead dirt of the composing room
on my face,
seventy-five cents in my pocket,
SPRING IN THE AIR...

*

The piece got left in the middle.
It rained and swamped the lines.
But oh! what I would have written...
The starving writer sitting on his three-thousand-page
three-volume manuscript
wouldn't stare at the window of the kebab joint
but with his shining eyes would take
the Armenian bookseller's dark plump daughter by storm...
The sea would start smelling sweet.
Spring would rear up
like a sweating red mare
and, leaping onto its bare back,
I'd ride it
into the water.
Then
my typewriter would follow me
every step of the way.
I'd say:
"Oh, don't do it!
Leave me alone for an hour..."
then
my head-my hair failing out--
would shout into the distance:
"I AM IN LOVE..."

*

I'm twenty-seven,
she's seventeen.
"Blind Cupid,
lame Cupid,
both blind and lame Cupid
said, Love this girl,"
I was going to write;
I couldn't say it
but still can!
But if
it rained,
if the lines I wrote got swamped,
if I have twenty-five cents left in my pocket,
what the hell...
Hey, spring is here spring is here spring
spring is here!
My blood is budding inside me!


20 and 21 April 1929


Trans. by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk (1993)
Nazim Hikmet

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Umeedon Ki Umar Hai Kitni
Do Din Ki Phulwar Hai Duniya

Peetal Sona Ban Jata Hai
Dhoky Ka Beyopa

Oh, lay my ashes on the wind
That blows across the sea.
And I shall meet a fisherman
Out of Capri

Jo mere liye hi saja kare,,
Jo mere liye hi bana kare,,,

Main jo rooth jaon manaye woh,,
Main

Sab He Apni Gharz Se Miltay Hain Faraz
Maza To Tb Ha K Koi Bay Sabab Milay

Ek Shakhs Ko Deakha Tha
Taron Ki Tarha Hamney

Ek Shaks Ko Chaaha Tha
Apnon Ki Tarha Hamney

E

Hasrat-e-deed mein guzraan hain zamaney kab se
Dasht-e-umeed mein gardaan hain dawaney kab se
Der

Koi bhi aadmi pura nahin hai,
Kahin ankhain kahin chehra nahin hai,
Yahan se kyon koi begana guzre

If it does not feed the fire
of your creativity, then leave it.
If people and things do not
inspi

dar-e-KHayal bhi kholen siyah shab bhi karen
phir us ke baad tujhe sochen ye ghazab bhi karen

Mere Aesaab Mein Ik Jo Fariyad Thi, Woh Teri Yaad Thi,
Aur Wehm-o-gumaan Jo Abaad Thi, Woh Teri Yaa

Iss eid pr bhi na mil sake to kya hua dosto,
Jazzbon main khuluus ho to eiden hazaar hain..

Wafa apni bhi buhat asAr rakhti he

Bohat yaad aainge
bhOol kr to dekho..

Wo Shakhs Jo Sab Se Aziz Tha Mujhe.
Wo Bhi Mujhe Tanha Chor Gaya Yeh Keh K,
Tu Gham Ka Samander Ha

Har sal hum kuch sochtey hein

Kabhi tum ko door

Kabhi pass patey hein

Har saal tumhe kuch n

KhuDA Kare MAin TErY SAtH JufT HO JAouN...

DuA KArtA ReHtA HuN IN TAAQ RAAtoN MEiN..

Ilzam-e-Muhabbat K Dar Se Chor Diya Apna Watan. . .
Warna Ye Choti Si Umer Pardes K Qabil Na Thi. .

Stanza (25)

Ehd-e-Nau Barq Hai, Aatish Zan-e-Har Khirman Hai
Ayman Is Se Koi Sehra No Koi Gulsha

Give me hunger,
O you gods that sit and give
The world its orders.
Give me hunger, pain and wa

Let the old snow be covered with the new:
The trampled snow, so soiled, and stained, and sodden.

WINE comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Befor

Urdu Poetry

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