Nazim Hikmet: Hiroshima and Strontium 90








I Come and Stand at Every Door (Hiroshima)

I come and stand at every door

But no one hears my silent tread

I knock and yet remain unseen

For I am dead, for I am dead.


I’m only seven although I died

In Hiroshima long ago

I’m seven now as I was then

When children die they do not grow.


My hair was scorched by swirling flame

My eyes grew dim, my eyes grew blind

Death came and turned my bones to dust

And that was scattered by the wind.


I need no fruit, I need no rice

I need no sweet, nor even bread

I ask for nothing for myself

For I am dead, for I am dead.


All that I ask is that for peace

You fight today, you fight today

So that the children of this world

May live and grow and laugh and play

Nazim Hikmet (1902-1963)


Strontium 90

We are having very strange weather,

sun, rain, snow.

They say it’s as a result of the nuclear tests.

It’s been raining Strontium 90

on the grass, the milk, the meat,

on hope, on freedom:

on the great longing

whose door we knocked at.

We are in a race against each other, my darling.

Either we’ll take life to the dead stars,

or death will descend on our world.

Nazim Hikmet, 6 March 1958, Warsaw.

More poems by Nazim Hikmet available here.

About Eddie Playfair

I am a Senior Policy Manager at the Association of Colleges (AoC) having previously been a college principal for 16 years and a teacher before that. I live in East London and I blog in a personal capacity about education and culture. I also tweet at @eddieplayfair
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1 Response to Nazim Hikmet: Hiroshima and Strontium 90

  1. Pingback: Nazim Hikmet: Hiroshima and Strontium 90 | Eddie Playfair | Echo Chamber Uncut

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