Nazim Hikmet 1902-1963
“I mean, you must take living so seriously
that even at seventy, for example, you’ll plant olive trees―
and not for your children, either,
but because although you fear death you don’t believe it,
because living, I mean, weighs heavier.”
“It was as if that great rush of anger had washed me clean, emptied me of hope, and, gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe.
To feel it so like myself, indeed, so brotherly, made me realize that I’d been happy, and that I was happy still. For all to be accomplished, for me to feel less lonely, all that remained to hope was that on the day of my execution there should be a huge crowd of spectators and that they should greet me with howls of execration.”
― Albert Camus, The Stranger.
Where damped washing are hung
often upside down,
where strayed dogs play cheerfully at noon
and howl savagely by the night
where streets are narrowed
and nights, stretched out.
Amidst of quietened alleys,
and lamented walls,
where people sleep on pavements
and rejoice the filth.
The town weeps I’ve been told.
I hear it’s calling.
Every night, I pack my things,
and escape this wretched place
I stride into the dark,
running for the nearest train.
I almost make it but
the town follows.