untitled poem by Nazım Hikmet

All the things I’ve written about us are untrue
they’re not what happened between us but what I wanted to see happen
those were my longings hanging from your unreachable branches
and my thirst pulled out of the well of my dreams
they were pictures I drew on beams of light.

Not all of what I wrote about us is true
Your beauty
that is to say a fruit basket or a picnic in the meadow
my being without you
that is my being the last streetlamp at the last corner of the city
the way I’m jealous of you
which means my running blindfolded among trains at night
my happiness
so to say the sun-drenched river which breaks its banks and overflows.
Whatever I’ve written about us is all lies
whatever I’ve written about us is all true.

translated by Talat S. Halman

4 thoughts on “untitled poem by Nazım Hikmet

  1. How terribly true this is. “Is what you just wrote true?” they ask. And I tell them it is made up, it is just a dream. But I can still see you in my mind and the smell of your hair remains as strong as years ago. And I still have the book you gave me for my birthday that year.

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