“A heroic achievement, one of the majestic epic sequences of the century just past .
from the Foreword by Edward Hirsch
Banned in his own country for thirty years, the poetry of Turkey’s foremost modern poet, Nazim Hikmet (1902-1963), has been translated into more than fifty languages. Today Hikmet is recognized around the world as one of the essential voices of our time. Written during the Second World War while Hikmet was serving a thirteen-year sentence as a political prisoner, his verse-novel, Human Landscapes from My Country, uses cinematic techniques to tell the story of the emergence of secular, modern Turkey by focusing on the always-entertaining stories of sundry characters from every social class. As vignettes of Turkish life flash before our eyes at movie-like speed, it becomes clear that the poet is also telling the turbulent story of the twentieth century itself and of the ongoing global struggle between tradition, which trusts in God, and modernity, which entrusts the world to human hands. This is the first complete English translation of Hikmet’s epic masterwork.
Randy Blasing, a former National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellow, is the author of seven books of poetry, including Choice Words: Poems 1970-2005.
Mutlu Konuk, a native of İstanbul, is Professor of English at Brown University. She recently published her fourth book of eriticim, Lyric Poetry: The Pain and the Pleasure of Words. Praise For Human Laindscapes From My Country
“A human landscape of the twentieth century“. -The Washington Post Book World