Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet spent over a decade in prison for his communist views. His poetry captures his experiences perfectly, and gives us a glimpse of what political dissidents must endure.
POEMS FOR PIRAYE (9 TO 10 O'CLOCK POEMS)
Our son is sick
his father in prison
your heavy head
fallen in your tired palms
the laughter drained from your golden eyes.
will surely carry people
on to sunnier days
our son will get well
his father out of prison
your golden eyes
will fill with laughter once more...
is the world's fate.
AFTER RELEASE FROM PRISON
Where are you?
awake or sleeping-
to being in your own home.
This is just one more of the stupefactions
of spending thirteen years in a prison.
Who's lying at your side?
Not loneliness, but your wife,
in the peaceful sleep of an angel.
Pregnancy looks good on a woman.
What time is it?
That means you're safe until evening.
Because it's the practice of police
Never to raid homes in broad daylight.