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Love in Turkey and in Korea

January 4, 2012

Along with the poems by Yong Taek Kim, I read poems by Nazim Hikmet (1902-1963), a Turkish poet.

Kim is alive and well in southern Korea, befriended by his beloved River Sumjin, the sky, and fields of barley, wheat and rice.  Hikmet has been gone longer than half a century. Even when he was alive, he spent much of his time in dark prison cells and in exile from his beloved Turkey, finally to die of a heart attack in June 1963 in Moscow. Compared with Hikmet, an international and global poet, Kim is provincial. But they both speak of love; they are united in ferocious love of humanity and praise of harmony with nature.

This morning, I randomly opened Poems of Nazim Hikmet and found the following.

I Love You

I kneel down: I look at the earth,
the grass,
insects,
little stems blooming with blues.
You are like the spring earth, my love,
I ‘m looking at you.

I lie on my back: I see the sky,
the branches of the tree,
storks on the wing,
a waking dream.
You are like the spring sky, my love,
I see you.

At night I light a camp fire: I touch fire,
water,
cloth,
silver.
You are like a fire lit beneath the stars,
I touch you.

I go among people: I love people,
action,
thought,
struggle.
You are one person in my struggle,
I love you.

This morning, I send this poem to Don, to the poet Kim and to all of you who want to love, wherever you are.

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