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A José Martí Translation: ‘Malemsibu Thadokpagi Eigi Aningba’


A graphic of José Martí’s I Wish To Leave The World in Meiteilon. This poem was written when Cuba was under the imperial rule of Spain. A Cuban writer, revolutionary and a martyr, José Martí is known for his political essays and short, powerful poems.



Today, 13 June 2017 is the 18th death anniversary of my father. This is a little tribute for the departed soul.

While we are at it, we have another excellent poem originally written by Selahattin Demirtaş—an imprisoned Zaza Kurdish politician and a leader of the left-wing pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party—and translated by Burcu Gündogan.


Contagious Courage

They’ll say ‘silence!’
And, they’ll say ‘no colors!’
You will have been rising up in joy,
But they’ll say ‘no roses can blossom’

Then, let’s laugh so that your revolt does not get orphaned.
And, if that’s a crime; then, let it be…
May the smile of people remain fadeless.

They’ll say ‘the sun cannot rise!’
And, they’ll pull a gun on hope.
But you will have been rising up in speed.
They’ll put the blame on you.

Then, let’s run so that your revolt does not get lonely!
And, if that’s a crime, then, let it be…

Don’t drive people crazy!



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