Many More Millennia Dear Nazim:
Hikmet's 100th Birthday Anniversary Celebrated...
(New York) After UNESCO's decision on international
celebration of Nazim Hikmet's 100th Birthday,
many events took place in Istanbul, Ankara, Paris, a
play in London and just recently on April 14th
in New York the celebration as "Unforgettable Poet:
Nazim".. The second event was on Thursday, May
2nd organized by Bircan Unver, The Light Millennium
with cooperation and support by Turkish American Federation
in participation of
21. Turkish Culture Festival acitivites: http://www.tadf.org
remarks of the "To Many More Millennia Dear
Nazim" event presented by Egemen Bagis, president
of the Federation of Turkish American Associations.
28 readers participated on this wonderful evening, "To
Many More Millennia Dear Nazim" with the anticipation
of the musicians Tayyar Akdeniz, baglama; Erol
Israfil, guitar; Yasin Uygunca, piano and
Scott Wilson playing oud. About 160 guests attended
and it was specially worth listening the American readers'
selections by Nazim once again proving how well Nazim
is known in the US. It was a quite interesting experience
for Turkish audience to listen Nazim's poems in English
Mardin's introductory speech, "A Child of
R. David Robinson, "On The Twentieth Century"
& An exerpt from opening section of the "Human
The evening started by listening Nazim's
poems "Gunesli Gunler Gorecegiz Cocuklar/Nikbinlik", "Yirminci Asra Dair" ve "Stransium-90" by his own voice followed by
Egemen Bagis' speech, president of FTAA, saying "Federation
is the insitution for all those living in US and represents
each ideology" .
his speech by reading
Nazim Hikmet's poem , "Davet" and how he
truly believes and agrees on each line. "Kapansin
el kapilari, bir daha acilmasin/ yok edin insanin insana
kullugunu/ bu davet bizim./Yasamak bir agac gibi tek
ve hur/ ve bir orman gibi kardescesine/bu hasret bizim."
Julie Mardin introduced the Poet to Americans
who are not familiar with him & his works in her
Hikmet: The Child of our Century" . Nazim's poem
as mentioned in Mardin's speech "On the 20th
Century" read by R. David Robinson.
Uygunca, "Rain", piano
Nazim Hikmet's 100th Birthday, (center, Isitan
Gün, Pinar Senevli (right).
Refik Erduran, professor and writer, joined the evening with a special message he sent from Istanbul
"Nazim Hikmet was full of hope of the creativity,
favoring freedom, that is present in the American Nation
despite the many disagreements he had with some behaviorual
patterns of the American governors. Additionally, he
was not granted a visa. It can be said that because
of the people like you who has filled the Turkish House,
tonight, Nazim has finally overcome the walls of political
conservatism God bless you all." Refik Erduran,
During "To many more Millennia Dear Nazim" event's opening,
Light Millennium's message to Nazim Hikmet's 100th Birthday:
of the new global continent, while reading the poems
the music compositions created for the poems, as well
as the birthday messages written in his memory, we celebrate
his 100th Birthday today. The continuous light you bring
forth, humanity: more and more will become brighter.
In thousand years, every generation and every culture,
will be more rooted, and with desire will draw together,
in particular when our hopes have blossemed
real time,, every time with the fever of lighting a
waterfall, we dream of celebrating this."
Senyener, "Kiz Cocugu"
Bone, "Straw Blond"
Nusret Ozgul also joined the evening
with a message he sent from Brussel. Ozgul's message inspired on Nazim's poem "Voice" :
"Nazim Hikmet, dinsiz degildi. Inancliydi. Belki pratikan
degildi. Salonda su an bulunan sizlerin her okudugu
siir, sarfettigi guzel soz, pencere disinda; havaya
karismis, onun icin bir mevlutten daha kiymetli. Cunku,
o "Ses" siirinde tasvir ettigi gibi, sizlerin
sesini duyuyor, ben de 6 bin km. Uzaklikta, Bruksel'de;
Turk Evi'nden yukselen seslerinizi, Nazim ile birlikte
isitiyor ve bir baska dunyada, onun da katilacagi siir
"Nazim Hikmet was not an infidel/atheist. He was
a believer. Maybe not a practicer. Each poem, each beautiful
referral read this evening,outside the windows; catalized
into the air, will be more ritual to HIM than any pray.
he means on his "Voice" poem, he is hearing
your voices, so am I here in Brussel far and away for
6 thousand km. hearing your voices with him and dreaming
of other poetrynights in his presence."
Mimaroglu, "Sairin Bir Dakika Tembelligi"
Mover, About My Poetry", "Letters from
a Man in Solitary" and "On Living I,
|The event's surprise moment made by Federation
General Secretary, Isitan Gun by blowing off the Nazim Hikmet'in 100th
Anniversary cake before the audience on joining event
message on "To many more Millennia
"To many more Millennia Dear Nazim"
musical introduction made by Erol Israfil by accompanying the reader, Sebnem Senyener "The Girl/Kiz
Cocugu" playing guitar. Nazim wrote this poem back in 1956
from the victim girl's words ten years after the Atomic
bomb in Hiroshima. This poem and Nazim's many other
poems reflecting his worries on atom bombing and anti-nuclear
issues such as ("Japon Balikcisi") unfortunately could
not found in English translation, quite interesting!!
When Nazim Hikmet escaped to Moscow in 1950, he started
worrying in name of "Great Humanity" to be correctly executed in former
USSR under Stalin regime and canalized his creative
energy into "international peace" and acitivities
concerning atom bombing and anti-nuclear and the
poems he wrote at this period are still enlighten and
guiding/warning us today. Altough we were not able to
provide these poems in English to present in our event
; his works
and leadership guidance on these issues was pointed
out in the introduction.
Mardin, Latife Mardin and some of the guests of
Ulgen, "Olume Dair"
The main objective of the event was as
mentioned in Nazim's poem: "
But I don't want to listen to a song any longer...
I want to sing..." to provide a platfform for the audience and readers the same
meaning.. The event reached its goal with anticipation
of 28 poem readers and 4 musicians. Some of the readers,
Turkish and American, representing a wide range of professions
and age group were as follows: Theater players R.
London Times, New York representative James Bone, the famous writer and composer Ilhan
Gungor Mimaroglu who also organized another Nazim Hikmet
event in NY prior this evening, shared the memories
of Guzin Dino with the poet.
Ugur Ugural successfully presented Nazim's poem "The
Epic of Sheik Bedreddin" with Tayyar Akdeniz playing baglama and received a huge audience appraisal. Some parts
of Nazim's modern novel
"Human Landscapes" was performed
in English successfully by R. David Robinson.
Aslanbas, "Ben Senden Once Olmek Isterim"
Ozmenek, "Yasamaya Dair I", Medine Gul,
Yasamaya Dair II"
The other poetry performers of the event
were; Pelin Aksu, Oben Atila, Ferhan Arpacik, Ceren
Arslanbas, Medine Gul, Murat Gulay, Gamze Ilkay,
Utku Marangoz, Elif Ozmenek, Medine Gul, Buket Sahin,
Evrim Sel, Fatma Basoglu Takil, Mine Takil, Mehmet Uca,
Sule Ulgen, Ulku Unsoy, Ebru Unal ve Selcuk Yalcintan.
Caner co-hosted of the program.
Unver, "Gunesi Icenlerin Turkusu".
The english presentation of the evening
performed by Canalp Caner, who is also assistant
of Turkish Amerian Federation.
In the last section of the evening; a
poetry written by AynurDurmus sent from Istanbul as well as Bircan Unver's own poem dedicated to Nazim Hikmet's
Birthday named, "To many more Millennia
Dear Nazim" performed both in Turkish and English.
Arif Mardin, Latife Mardin, Angela
Dogancay, Ilona Akyavas, Haluk & Nehla Velidedeoglu,
Erden Arkan, "Unutulmayan Sair Nazim Hikmet" co-producer Serdar Ilhan, also New York Turkish Consul Sedat
Culture Attache Emire Renda,
Press Attache Tevfik Unver
and many representatives from Press were among the attendees.
Ugural, "Epic of Sheik Bedreddin"
At the end of this three-hour-long exciting
event, some audience members from different age groups
expressed personally to organizer Bircan Unver, "We
somehow heard about Nazim but were not familiar with
his works. Thank You for presenting such an event introducing
this great poet to us" . Some of them also extended
their appreciation to Egemen Bagis, president of FTAA, on his team's support for presenting first time
ever such a well participated event in Turkish House.
We would like to extend our sincere thanks on
their valuable help to Evren Ay, Pinar Senveli;
John J. Culkin on video production , Gul Mendez
on photography, Ebru Unal ve Ender Ulgen.
(Translated from Turkish by Buket
* * * *
Below poem dedicated for 100th Birthday Celebration
of Nazim Hikmet, and also inspired to the selected
poetry reading event from Nazim Hikmet with the same
Many More Millennia
You're always in our thoughts, dear Nazim
With your poems, your dreams,
your desires, and your passions...
Even more than yesterday,
In multitude and in profoundness...
You're living in our hearts...
and in our lives...
Because no one, no one...
could explain US to ourselves
And in our dreams,
a little piece of you is in us all.
love, to envy, to separation,
to happiness and to better tomorrows...
Your poems and great hopes,
will help carry us along time!
To many many new generations...
miss you very much Nazim!
like missing a very old friend.
Just like how you miss your country Nazim
Just like hoping for better tomorrows!
To many more millennia Dear Nazim...
Bircan UNVER, March 3, 2002, New York.
Translated by Yesim OZEL