WestWords Perfect Pair 21.07.14

Recognised around the world as one of the great international poets of the twentieth century, Nazim Hikmet was born in Salonica, modern day Thessaloniki in Greece in 1902. A Turkish poet, playwright, novelist and memoirist, his poetry has been translated into more than fifty languages. 
This next poem has achieved popularity as an anti-war message and has been performed by singers and musicians worldwide including US band, The Byrds. The poem, sometimes known as The Little Girl, conveys a plea for peace from a seven-year-old girl, ten years after she’d perished in the atomic bomb attack at Hiroshima. This is:

By Nâzım Hikmet

I come and stand at every door
But no one hears my silent tread
I knock and yet remain unseen
For I am dead, for I am dead.

I’m only seven although I died
In Hiroshima long ago
I’m seven now as I was then
When children die they do not grow.

My hair was scorched by swirling flame
My eyes grew dim, my eyes grew blind
Death came and turned my bones to dust
And that was scattered by the wind.

I need no fruit, I need no rice I
need no sweet, nor even bread
I ask for nothing for myself
For I am dead, for I am dead.

All that I ask is that for peace
You fight today, you fight today
So that the children of this world
May live and grow and laugh and play.





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