Gioconda And Si-ya-u Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis

Rhyme Scheme: AB C DDEEDFE GDHEEIFJEDAKLEE EELMEECEEED NE O OEOENEPHEDOQDDDORE ESETEDEDE EEEDDD DENDP D UV E WDEDXE EECYDE Z DDDDEDA2 EDNEEEEB2EEEDD H DDC2EEDD2E H EE H E2DDDEDF2EEEEEDDEEEE EEODWEW H EDEE DD G2D D HHH DDD EDEHHH DDD EEHEEEDDEEDEH2I2EDC2 J2D E H DEBEDDDHDEED H EEK2EEL2M2N2O2QHD2DE D EEE DDD KEDDD E E Q E O2 E DP2NED E DEE

to the memory of my friend SI YA UA
whose head was cut off in ShanghaiB
-
A CLAIMC
-
Renowned Leonardo'sD
world famousD
La GiocondaE
has disappearedE
And in the spaceD
vacated by the fugitiveF
a copy has been placedE
-
The poet inscribingG
the present treatiseD
knows more than a littleH
about the fateE
of the real GiocondaE
She fell in loveI
with a seductiveF
graceful youthJ
a honey tonguedE
almond eyed ChineseD
named SI YA UA
Gioconda ran offK
after her loverL
Gioconda was burnedE
in a Chinese cityE
-
I Nazim HikmetE
authorityE
on this matterL
thumbing my nose at friend and foeM
five times a dayE
undauntedE
claimC
I can prove itE
if I can'tE
I'll be ruined and banishedE
forever from the realm of poesyD
-
-
-
-
Part OneN
Excerpts from Gioconda's DiaryE
-
March Paris Louvre MuseumO
-
At last I am bored with the Louvre MuseumO
You can get fed up with boredom very fastE
I am fed up with my boredomO
And from the devastation inside meE
I drew this lessonN
to visitE
a museum is fineP
to be a museum piece is terribleH
In this palace that imprisons the pastE
I am placed under such a heavy sentenceD
that as the paint on my face cracks out of boredomO
I'm forced to keep grinning without letting upQ
BecauseD
I am the Gioconda from FlorenceD
whose smile is more famous than FlorenceD
I am bored with the Louvre MuseumO
And since you get sick soon enoughR
of conversing with the pastE
-
I decidedE
from now onS
to keep a diaryE
Writing of today may be of some helpT
in forgetting yesterdayE
However the Louvre is a strange placeD
Here you might findE
Alexander the Great'sD
Longines watch complete with chronometerE
-
butE
not a single sheet of clean notebook paperE
or a pencil worth a piasterE
Damn your Louvre your ParisD
I'll write these entriesD
on the back of my canvasD
-
And soD
when I picked a pen from the pocketE
of a nearsighted AmericanN
sticking his red nose into my skirtsD
his hair stinking of wineP
-
I started my memoirsD
-
I'm writing on my backU
the sorrow of having a famous smileV
-
-
March NightE
-
The Louvre has fallen asleepW
In the dark the armless VenusD
looks like a veteran of the Great WarE
The gold helmet of a knight gleamsD
as the light from the night watchman's lanternX
strikes a dark pictureE
-
HereE
in the LouvreE
my days are all the sameC
like the six sides of a wood cubeY
My head is full of sharp smellsD
like the shelf of a medicine cabinetE
-
-
MarchZ
-
I admire those Flemish paintersD
is it easy to give the air of a naked goddessD
to the plump ladiesD
of milk and sausage merchantsD
ButE
even if you wear silk pantiesD
cow silk panties cowA2
-
Last nightE
a windowD
was left openN
The naked Flemish goddesses caught coldE
All dayE
todayE
turning their bareE
mountain like pink behinds to the publicB2
they coughed and sneezedE
I caught cold tooE
So as not to look silly smiling with a coldE
I tried to hide my snifflesD
from the visitorsD
-
-
AprilH
-
Today I saw a ChineseD
he was nothing like those Chinese with their topknotsD
How longC2
he gazed at meE
I'm well awareE
the favor of ChineseD
who work ivory like silkD2
is not to be taken lightlyE
-
-
AprilH
-
I caught the name of the Chinese who comes every dayE
SI YA UE
-
-
AprilH
-
Today we spokeE2
in the language of eyesD
He works as a weaver daysD
and studies nightsD
Now it's a long time since the nightE
came on like a pack of black shirted FascistsD
The cry of a man out of workF2
who jumped into the SeineE
rose from the dark waterE
And ah you on whose fist size headE
mountain like winds descendE
at this very minute you're probably busyE
building towers of thick leather bound booksD
to get answers to the questions you asked of the starsD
READE
SI YA UE
READE
And when your eyes find in the lines what they desireE
when your eyes tireE
rest your tired headE
like a black and yellow Japanese chrysanthemumO
on the booksD
SLEEPW
SI YA UE
SLEEPW
-
-
AprilH
-
I've begun to forgetE
the names of those Renaissance mastersD
I want to seeE
the black bird and flowerE
-
watercolorsD
that slant eyed Chinese paintersD
-
dripG2
from their long thin bamboo brushesD
-
-
NEWS FROM THE PARIS WIRELESSD
-
HALLOH
HALLOH
HALLOH
-
PARISD
PARISD
PARISD
-
Voices race through the airE
like the fiery greyhoundsD
The wireless in the Eiffel Tower calls outE
HALLOH
HALLOH
HALLOH
-
PARISD
PARISD
PARISD
-
I TOO am Oriental this voice is for meE
My ears are receivers tooE
I too must listen to EiffelH
News from ChinaE
News from ChinaE
News from ChinaE
The dragon that came down from the Kaf mountainsD
has spread his wingsD
across the golden skies of the Chinese homelandE
ButE
in this business it's not only the British lord'sD
gullet shavedE
like the thick neckH2
of a plucked henI2
that will be cutE
but alsoD
the longC2
thinJ2
beard of ConfuciusD
-
-
FROM GIOCONDA'S DIARYE
-
-
AprilH
-
Today my ChineseD
looked my straightE
in the eyeB
and askedE
Those who crush our rice fieldsD
with the caterpillar treads of their tanksD
and who swagger through our citiesD
like emperors of hellH
are they of YOUR raceD
the race of him who CREATED youE
I almost raised my handE
and cried NoD
-
-
AprilH
-
Tonight at the blare of an American trumpetE
the horn of a horsepower FordE
I awoke from a dreamK2
and what I glimpsed for an instantE
instantly vanishedE
What I'd seen was a still blue lakeL2
In this lake the slant eyed light of my lifeM2
had wrapped his fingers around the neck of a gilded fishN2
I tried to reach himO2
my boat a Chinese teacupQ
and my sailH
the embroidered silkD2
of a JapaneseD
bamboo umbrellaE
-
-
NEWS FROM THE PARIS WIRELESSD
-
-
HALLOE
HALLOE
HALLOE
-
PARISD
PARISD
PARISD
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The radio station signs offK
Once moreE
blue shirted ParisiansD
fill Paris with red voicesD
and red colorsD
-
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FROM GIOCONDA'S DIARYE
-
-
MayE
-
Today my Chinese failed to show upQ
-
-
MayE
-
Still no sign of himO2
-
-
MayE
-
My daysD
are like the waiting roomP2
of a stationN
eyes gluedE
to the tracksD
-
-
MayE
-
Sculptors of GreeceD
painters of Seljuk chinaE
weavers of fierE

Nazim Hikmet



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