Nâzým As Painter
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I was born in 1902
and never went back to the city I'd been born
I don't like to go back
at three I served as a pasha-grandson in Aleppo
at nineteen as a student of communist University in Moskow
at forty nine again in Moskow as a Tcheka Party guest
and since fourteen I serve as a poet

some people know all the kinds of grass some of fish
                                                          me of separations
some people recite the names of the stars
                                                          me of longings

I've slept in prisons and in grand hotels
I've starved including a hunger strike
                                  and there is almost no food Ihaven't tasted

at thirty they wanted to hang me
at forty eight they wanted to give me the Peace Prize
                                                                   which they did

at thirty six I passed for square meters of concrete
                                                                                  in half a year
at fifty nine I flew from Prague to Havana in eighteen hours

I've never seen Lenin but stood watch at his coffin in 1924
his tomb I visit in 1961 is his books

they tried to tear me off from my party
                                            it didn't work
I wasn't even crushed under the falling idols

in 1951 with a young friend in sea I've attacked upon death
in 1952 with a cracked heart flat on my back for four months
                                                                   I've waited death

I was madly jealous of the woman I loved
I didn't envy Chaplin even a bit
I deceived my woman

I never backbit my friends

I drank but I didn't become a drinker
I always earned my bread with the sweat of my brow
                                                              what a hapiness for me

I was ashamed on behalf of others and lied
I lied not to worry others
                              but I also lied without a reason

I've ridden trains planes cars
majority can not
I've gone to the opera
majority can not
               they haven't even heard the name of the opera
and since 1921 I haven't gone
               to some places where majority can go
               mosques churches temples synagogues sorcerers
               but I've had my fortune read on coffee grounds

my writings are published in thirty or forty languages
               in my Turkey in my Turkish they're forbidden

I'm not caught by cancer yet
and not supposed to be caught
I'll never be a prime minister and so
I'm not interested in such things
I didn't take part in war
I didn't go down to shelters in midnights
I didn't walk on the roads under diving planes
but I fell in love at nearly sixty
in short comrades
even if today in Berlin I'm dying of sorrow
                                          I can say I lived humanly
and how much longer shall I live
                                     what else shall I experience
                                                                        who knows.

                                                                                 This autobiography was written
                                                                    in East Berlin on 11'th September 1961

                                                                                                             tr. by Fuat Engin