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Letter To My Wife Analysis

Author: poem of Nazim Hikmet Type: poem Views: 12

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                                 Bursa Prison

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.


a body swinging from a rope.

My heart

         can't accept such a death.


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


will see my friends and you,

and I'll go

to my grave

            regretting nothing but an unfinished song...

My wife!



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.

Trans. by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk (1993)


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