A POET LIKE A TREE, LIKE A SEA, LIKE A SUN by Dietrich Gronau
In January 2002 literary scholars, translators and poets from a host of different countries gathered in Istanbul to celebrate the 100th birthday of Nâzim Hikmet. UNESCO had declared it the "Year of Nâzim-Hikmet", but this was not the only reason for their journey to the city on the Bosporus. They also wanted to express their admiration for the poet who passed away in 1963 and lives on in his work to this day, and to pay homage to him in his birthplace.
Nâzim Hikmet was always above all a poet of the people, a lyricist who wrote about the men and women on the street and their eternal longing for love, the natural world and independence. When he was born in 1902 in Thessaloniki - today located in Greece, at that time still part of the Ottoman Empire - society was undergoing a period of extreme political and social upheaval.
Dr. Dietrich Gronau is a freelance writer in Berlin. He has written biographies on Marguerite Yourcenar, Heinrich Heine, Martin Luther and Kemal Atatürk. His monograph on Nâzim Hikmet ewas published by Rowohlt in 1991.
© KulturForum / Dietrich Gronau, Berlin, October 2010
Extract from an essay in the booklet accompanying the film series "Human Landscapes - Portraits of Six Turkish Authors", produced and published by the Turkish-German Forum of Culture.
Read more: www.nazimhikmet.org.tr