Hikmet: Çankiri Prison, 1938
Today is Sunday.
Today, for the first time, they let me go out into the sun.
And I stood there I didn't move,
struck for the first time, the very first time ever:
how far away from me the sky is
how blue it is
I sat down, in respect, in awe, I sat down on the ground,
I leaned my back against the wall.
In this moment, there were no waves to fall into;
in this moment, there was no liberty, and no wife, my wife.
There was only the earth beneath me, the sun above me, and me.
And how I am grateful, I am happy, to have this thing I call my life.
From The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish (Chicago, 2013).
Used with permission.
Joshua Weiner is the author of three books of poetry, most recently, The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish(Chicago, 2013). He is also the editor of At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn, and the poetry editor of Tikkun magazine. The recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship, he will be a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow in 2015. His poems and essays have appeared in Best American Poetry, The New York Review of Books, The Nation, The American Scholar, Harvard Review, AGNI, The New Republic, and elsewhere. He is professor of English at the University of Maryland,and lives with his family in Washington DC.
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