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Poems of Nazim Hikmet, Revised and Expanded Edition Paperback – May 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0892552740 ISBN-10: 0892552743 Edition: Revised & Expanded Second Edition

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$15.03 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A leading modern Turkish poet, Hikmet (1902-1963) once wrote from prison, "In the twentieth century / grief lasts / at most a year." First jailed in 1924 at the age of 22 for working on a leftist magazine, he spent 18 years incarcerated. Hikmet was awarded the World Peace Prize in 1950, the same year as he gained his release from jail, only to be exiled from Turkey in 1951 for the last 13 years of his life. The poet evidently never lost his faith in social justice. His love of life apparently didn't weaken, and his poems resonate with its power: "Shot through ten years of bondage like a bullet, / . . . my heart is still the same heart, my head still the same head." But to consider Hikmet a political poet only is to miss his gift, and a temperament infected with joy. In "Occupation" he writes, "In the afternoon heat I pick olives, / the leaves the loveliest of greens: / I'm light from head to toe." The translations by Blasing and Mutlu Konak convey the power and originality of the work; there are no weak poems here. As Hikmet grew, he delivered a richness and humanity unparalleled in its freedom from bitterness in poems like "Things I Didn't Know I Loved," "After Getting Out of Prison" and "The Last Bus."
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This volume selects poems of Hikmet (1902-63) that the editors consider "his best both in Turkish and in translation." A huge figure in Turkey, Hikmet was the archetypal exile. Outspoken and revolutionary, in and out of prison until 1952, he traveled until his death. His prison poems are deservedly famous, but those from the 1950s-set in Budapest, Moscow, Prague, and Warsaw-express a visceral longing for birthplace: "my heart exploding like a hand grenade." Sensual and spiritual, they transcend everything that represses the psyche. A sublime humility lifts these sad, immensely "life-loving" poems above Cold War angst into universal statements of compassion for suffering. Replacing Selected Poetry (LJ 10/1/86), this comprehensive volume contains 15 unpublished poems, selections from longer poems, and "Rubaiyat," which is only available in a private printing. Recommended for international literature collections.
Frank Allen, West Virginia State Coll., Institute
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Karen and Michael Braziller Books
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Persea; Revised & Expanded Second Edition edition (May 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892552743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892552740
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 14 customer reviews
U can feel like him while reading his poems.
Fusun S.Nebil
Poets like Nazim Hikmet know their words can rend a heart as easily as they can mend a heart.
Vivek Sharma
You will find language describing pomegrantes, figs, and nature.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 13, 1998
Format: Paperback
Nazim Hikmet, although he suffered deeply because of being away from his country most of his free life, has been a great admirer of Turkey and Turkish people. You can easily feel all his passion for life, for his country, love and politics. He really was a man of passion and had this great ability to share it with the world. I admire him and wish every citizen of this world to read his poems and get all the pleasure I get from them.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Alma Luz Villanueva, author on May 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Just a brief note to say I consider Nazm Hikmet to be one of the great poets of all time...his passion, courage, hard-earned innocence moves me every time I pick up his work...he speaks soul to soul, the true vocation of the poet...as a poet myself I treausre him...as a teacher I always pass him on. "The true art of a warrior is to balance terror and wonder." Don Juan (Carlos Castaneda's books...Hikmet did this magnificently.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mois Benarroch - Author of HORSES AND OTHER DOUBTs on December 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
A poet of great humanity, great compasion, a believer in the human race in spite of having been in jail from many years, as well as been exiled by the Turkish leaders. refreshing and immediate, poetry for everyone, simple and strong.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By doc peterson VINE VOICE on February 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
I was introduced to Hikmet through his poem, "Things I didn't know I loved". On the strength of this poem, I picked up this collection. I was tremendously suprised to find that there are many, many more poems that beautifully and powerfully express Hikmet's relishment of life, of love and the constant frustration he experienced as an exile.

His politics are a constant thread throughout many of his poems, as is his optimism in the future - in spite of being imprisioned and separated from his wife, his son and eventually his country. It is his passion for living, however, that struck me most powerfully. "Because of You", "On the Matter of Romeo and Juliet" and "This Journey" are among my favorites (and are among my favorites of ANY poet.)

If you own only two books of poetry, this should be one of them. (The other, in my opinion, should be anything by Rilke, but that is my taste.) Hikmet's words are exquisite and sublime. Highly recommended.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Batu Kinayyigit on October 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
Hikmet is not only important for Turkish Poetry which has a unique and high level in the world,but also a major figure in world literature.Everyone interested in poetry should read him.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Vivek Sharma VINE VOICE on September 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Poets like Nazim Hikmet have a deep understanding of human feelings, failings, optimism, dreams, desires and contradictions. Poets like Nazim Hikmet know their words can rend a heart as easily as they can mend a heart. Poets like Nazim Hikmet appear rarely on earth, and when they do, their songs conjoin the undying spirit of humanity as eternal echoes of their rhymes and times. A collection of hundred poems appears in a translation here and for readers like me who must rely solely on translation, the poems present flavors, sights and a sensibility that fill our hearts with a mixture of sorrow, serenity, loss and hope. The ability to create hope in a reader or a feeling of serenity is indeed a testament to the power, generosity and depth of the poet for he manages to do so, even though he spent thirteen years of his life in jail and thirteen more in exile. Only great souls can bring out humane words after living through hardships and bitterness, and bunch them into words as melodious as of Hikmet.

His biography can be deciphered by some of his own poems. He wrote (It's This Way): "It's this way: / being captured is beside the point, / the point is not to surrender." In a Rubaiyat, he said: "Between us just a difference of degree -- / that's how it is my canary: / you an unthinking bird, with wings, / and me with hands, a man who thinks..." and in another rubaiyat he wrote: "Me, one man, the Turkish poet / Nazim Hikmet / I'm faith from head to toe --/ from head to toe, struggle and hope ..." and of course, the best rubaiyat: "I don't mean to boast, but I've shot / through ten years of bondage like a bullet. / And putting aside the pain in my liver, / my heart's the same heart, my head still the same head...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Albin TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is splendid anthology of poems by the great Turkish Modernist poet Nazim Hikmet. Drawn from what is apparently a very large volume of work, there are a number of wonderful poems in this anthology. Arranged chronologically, the earlier poems display some of Hikmet's experiments with form and style. The last 2/3s, and in my opinion, best part of the book exhibit poems from middle age to the threshold of his death. These include a number of poems from the lengthy period of his imprisonment and the period of exile after he fled Turkey in the early 1950s. These poems are more direct, less experimental, and are powerful expressions of his sense of mortality, grief over exile, and fervent commitment to Communism. The translators, Randy Blasing and Motlu Konuk, spent many years translating Hikmet into English. They deserve our thanks for bringing Hikmet's work to the English-speaking world.
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