Sunday, February 01, 2009

The most beautiful word ...

En güzel deniz:
henüz gidilmemiş olanıdır.
En güzel çocuk:
henüz büyümedi.
En güzel günlerimiz:
henüz yaşamadıklarımız.
Ve sana söylemek istediğim en güzel söz:
henüz söylemiş olduğum sözdür ...
Nâzim Hikmet, 24 Eylül 1945.

The most beautiful sea:
the one not been sailed yet.
The most beautiful child:
the one not grown up yet.
The most beautiful days of ours:
those we did not live yet.
And the most beautiful word I want to tell:
the word I did not tell you yet.
September 24th, 1945

Das schönste Meer:

das noch nicht befahrene.
Das schönste Kind:
das noch nicht herangewachsene.
Unsere schönsten Tage:
jene, die wir noch nicht erlebten.
Und das schönste Wort, das ich dir sagen möchte:
jenes, das ich dir noch nicht gesagt habe.



  1. I'm ashamed to admit I've never heard of this man before. I very much enjoyed what I could find on the net as well as this lovely piece and will look into reading more of his work.

  2. Wonderful. He Hikmet is new to me too. Thanks!

  3. Lady Janice,
    wouldn't life be slightly boring, if we happened to know all? :)
    Thus, don't feel ashamed, please.
    If I were ashamed whenever 'having to admit' that I haven't heard about this or that before I'd almost permanently change my colour. :)
    I am glad you like the poem. There are, indeed, more gems to discover.

    I am glad that, after all, I could 'make up' - at least a little - for that you introduced me into the work of Simin Behbahani.

    Hikmet's poetry is - so to speak - a garden; which reminds me that I do owe you some letters.
    T til Z, it was? Tomorrow you'll get them. :)

  4. Wow! Hikmet in German: "das noch nicht herangewachsene"! It sounds great! A bit like
    "das noch nicht herangewachsene zieht uns hinan....."


  5. Bertus,
    now that's interesting: I was not happy with this very verse, but did not find a better alternative, yet. Same goes for the two final verses.

    "das noch nicht herangewachsene zieht uns hinan....." A quotation? Hm,can't remember I've read/heard this before. Will you help my memory, please?

    As for Hikmet in German:
    Amman Verlag in autumn published a new Hikmet-Edition. I did not buy it yet, but after a first glimpse during the Frankfurt bookfair I put it on my wishlist.

  6. Alles Vergängliche
    ist nur ein Gleichnis;
    das Unzulängliche,
    hier wird's Ereignis;
    das Unbeschreibliche,
    hier ist's getan;
    das Ewig-Weibliche,
    zieht uns hinan.

    The final chorus of Goethe's Faust. Also used by Liszt in his Faust Symphony.
    The ei-sound in the verse is really great, especially where it turns from Ereignis to Unbeschreibliche and Ewig-Weibliche.

    Well, what poem could we make with noch nicht herangewachsene...


  7. Lovely poem Sean. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Bertus,
    ha ha, on reading 'zieht uns hinan' I thought of 'Das ewig Weibliche', got puzzled, though, by 'das noch nicht herangewachsene [zieht uns hinan]'.

    Hm, what poem could we make with 'noch nicht herangewachsene'?
    What about this [first attempt]?

    Noch ward' sie nicht herangewachsen
    in einem Ort in Niedersachsen,
    da Amor knüpft' schon zarte Bande
    nach Utrecht in die Niederlande.

    Your turn, Mijnheer. :)

    thank you. It's lovely, isn't it?

  9. Well let's put it bluntly like this:

    Reeds ongeboren ontving zij liefdesfaxen
    In haar woonplaats in Nedersaksen
    Want Amor spon een liefdeslijn
    Tussen haar en Utrecht aan de Nederrijn


  10. Bertus,

    What about us taking part of the next major poetry slam? :)

    [Sorry for anwering so late.]