My Funeral

Will it be in our courtyard?
From the third floor, how will you take me down?
The coffin will not fit into the lift,
The stairs too narrow.

Sun, knee deep, and pigeons in the courtyard perhaps,
Perhaps snow with screaming children,
Rain and wet tarmac perhaps.
And dustbins as usual in the courtyard.

If, in line with local tradition, I am loaded onto the truck face open,
A pigeon dropping might fall on my face: it brings good luck.
Whether or not there’s a band, children will come;
Children are curious about the dead.

Our kitchen window will watch me go.
Our balcony with its laundry will see me off.
I lived in this courtyard more happily than you could know.
My courtyard friends, I wish a long life to you all…

April 1963, Moscow.

Nazım Hikmet (1901-1963). Cenaze Merasimim. Translated from the Turkish.

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