“Yes, I am a traitor, if you are a patriot”: Nazim Hikmet

from Traitor

Yes, I am a traitor, if you are a patriot, if you are a defender of our homeland,
I am a traitor to my homeland, I am a traitor to my country.
If patriotism is your farms,
if the valuables in your safes and your bank accounts is patriotism,
if patriotism is dying from hunger by the side of the road,
if patriotism is trembling in the cold like a cur and shivering from malaria in the summer,
if sucking our scarlet blood in your factories is patriotism,
if patriotism is the claws of your village lords,
if patriotism is the catechism, if patriotism is the police club,
if your allocations and your salaries are patriotism,
if patriotism is American bases, American bombs, and American missiles,
if patriotism is not escaping from our stinking black-minded ignorance,
then I am a traitor.
Write it over three columns, in a pitch-black screaming streamer,
Nazim Hikmet is continuing to be a traitor, STILL!

July 1962

Courtesy: Eleven Eleven Journal

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