Skip to Content

Hikmet: Çankiri Prison, 1938

By Joshua Weiner

Today is Sunday.
Today, for the first time, they let me go out into the sun.
And I stood there I didn't move,
struck for the first time, the very first time ever:
how far away from me the sky is
                        how blue it is
                        how wide.
I sat down, in respect, in awe, I sat down on the ground,
I leaned my back against the wall.
In this moment, there were no waves to fall into;
in this moment, there was no liberty, and no wife, my wife.
There was only the earth beneath me, the sun above me, and me.
And how I am grateful, I am happy, to have this thing I call my life.

Added: Friday, January 16, 2015  /  From "The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish," (Chicago, 2013). Used with permission.
Joshua Weiner

Joshua Weiner is the author of three books of poetry, including The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish (University of Chicago Press, 2013). He is also the editor of At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn (all from Chicago). A book of prose, Berlin Notebook, reporting about the refugee crisis (Los Angeles Review of Books) came out in 2016, and the chapbook, Everything I Do I Do Good: Trumpoems (Dispatches) in 2018. He teaches at University of Maryland, and lives with his family in Washington D.C.

Other poems by this author