Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


MY NEW AUTHOR'S SITE, KATHRYNSTRIPLINGBYER.COM, THAT I MYSELF SET UP THROUGH WEEBLY.COM, IS NOW UP. I HAD FUN CREATING THIS SITE AND WOULD RECOMMEND WEEBLY.COM TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY NEW SITE TO KEEP UP WITH EVENTS RELATED TO MY NEW BOOK.


MY NC POET LAUREATE BLOG, MY LAUREATE'S LASSO, WILL REMAIN UP AS AN ARCHIVE OF NC POETS, GRADES K-INFINITY! I INVITE YOU TO VISIT WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOME GOOD POEMS.

VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Sunday, April 19, 2009

NAZIM HIKMET



Today the first annual celebration of Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet takes place in North Carolina. (www.nazimhikmetpoetryfestival.org) As part of this festival, a poetry contest was announced, with an invitation to me to be one of the judges. Of course I accepted, although I knew next to nothing about Hikmet's life or poetry. I've begun to learn more over the past few weeks, and I'd like to share two of his poems, as well as an article from The Guardian (UK).

Nâzım Hikmet Ran was a Turkish poet, playwright, and novelist. He was recognized as the first and foremost modern Turkish poet, and regarded throughout the world as one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century for the "lyrical flow of his statements.” Described as a "romantic revolutionary," his humanistic views are universal.

Hikmet was imprisoned for over a decade for his political views.

TODAY IS SUNDAY
Today is Sunday.
For the first time they took me out into the sun today.
And for the first time in my life I was aghast
that the sky is so far away
and so blue
and so vast
I stood there without a motion.
Then I sat on the ground with respectful devotion
leaning against the white wall.
Who cares about the waves with which I yearn to roll
Or about strife or freedom or my wife right now.
The soil, the sun and me...
I feel joyful and how.


NAZIM HIKMET

Translated by Talat Sait Halman.
(Literature East & West, March 1973)

ABOUT MY POETRY

I have no silver-saddled horse to ride,
no inheritance to live on,
neither riches no real-estate --
a pot of honey is all I own.
A pot of honey
red as fire!

My honey is my everything.
I guard
my riches and my real-estate
-- my honey pot, I mean --
from pests of every species,
Brother, just wait...
As long as I've got
honey in my pot,
bees will come to it
from Timbuktu...

Nazim Hikmet

Trans. by Mutlu Konuk and Randy Blasing (1993)


Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet regains citizenship
Alison Flood guardian.co.uk,
Wednesday 7 January 2009
Turkey is restoring the citizenship of its most famous 20th century poet Nazim Hikmet over 50 years after it branded him a traitor.

Hikmet, a communist who died in exile in Moscow in 1963, was imprisoned in Turkey for more than a decade. He was stripped of his Turkish nationality in 1951 because of his communist views, but despite a ban on his poetry which remained in place until 1965, has remained one of Turkey's best-loved poets. His work, much of which was written in prison, including his masterpiece Human Landscapes, has been translated into more than 50 languages.


"This is very good news," said Richard McKane, Hikmet's English translator. "The restoration of his Turkish citizenship is long overdue: the people of Turkey and his readers are owed that."


Immortalised by Pablo Neruda, with whom he shared the Soviet Union's International Peace Prize in 1950, with the lines "Thanks for what you were and for the fire / which your song left forever burning", Hikmet was also supported by Jean-Paul Sartre and Pablo Picasso. Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, when given the editorship for a day of Turkish newspaper Radikal two years ago, used the example of Hikmet in his cover story to criticise the lack of freedom of expression in Turkey. In 2000, 500,000 Turks petitioned the government to restore Hikmet's citizenship rights and repatriate his remains.


Deputy prime minister Cemil Cicek told the Associated Press that it was time for the government to change its mind about Hikmet. "The crimes which forced the government to strip him of his citizenship at that time are no longer considered a crime," the BBC quoted him as saying.


Hikmet, whose remains are currently in Russia, had said that he wished to be buried in Turkey in his 1953 poem Testament, translated by Ruth Christie. "Friends if it's not my lot to see the day / of independence... / if I die before that day / - and it seems I will - / bury me in a village graveyard in Anatolia / and if it's fitting / and a plane tree grows at my head, / then there's no need for a gravestone or anything else."


Cicek said that Hikmet's family would now decide whether to ship his remains back to his homeland.


Hikmet introduced free verse to Turkey in the 1930s, with his themes ranging from war to love. Despite his imprisonment he retained a deep passion for Turkey. "I love my country", he wrote in one of his poems. "I swung in its lofty trees, I lay in its prisons. Nothing relieves my depression like the songs and tobacco of my country."

2 comments:

Lynn Hamilton Rutherford said...

Kay ... I'd never heard of him until today and now I'm utterly hooked on his stuff. I printed it all out and as we speak, I'm laying her in the bed (with the stomach flu) reading it and loving every moment!!!

Thanks for this new discovery!!! You amaze me!!!

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Lynn, oh my, I'm sorry to hear you have stomach flu but glad that you've discovered Hikmet's poetry.
Take care of yourself! K.