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A Spring Piece Left In The Middle Analysis



Author: poem of Nazim Hikmet Type: poem Views: 18

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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)






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