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92Y's Read By

Oct 11, 2020

Tina Chang on her selection:

I chose to read "Things I Didn't Know I Loved," by Nâzım Hikmet and translated from the Turkish by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk, from the collection, Poems of Nâzım Hikmet. Hikmet is one of Turkey's most foremost poets and recognized as one of the world's most influential poets of the twentieth century. Born in 1902, he was a prolific writer and wrote plays, poems, novels, and collaborated on librettos. He spent thirteen years in jail as a political prisoner for his "radical acts." "Things I Didn't Know I Loved" was written by Hikmet after being released from prison and, in it, I recognize the almost childlike appreciation for sky, earth, and the cosmos, after spending a long time in solitude. During the pandemic, I am deeply comforted by the appreciation of simple things. When I walk outside, I breathe in and am grateful that all I remembered is still intact. During this most complex year, this poem has been my constant companion.

Poems of Nâzım Hikmet at Persea Books

Music: "Shift of Currents" by Blue Dot Sessions // CC BY-NC 2.0