Fazıl Say’s tribute to Nâzım

Last night we made our way to the open-air theatre for the performance of Nâzım, Fazıl Say’s oratorio composed as a tribute to the legendary poet, Nâzım Hikmet Ran. In addition to Say taking his usual place at the piano, he also shared the stage with none other than Sertab Erener and baritone Güvenç Dağüstün, as well as the Antalya Symphony Orchestra and the State Polyphonic Chorus. It would be unfair to say that Genco Erkal simply “recited” the poems of Nâzım— he truly brought them to life.

The entire event was wonderful, but of particular note was the section entitled “Hiroshima,” a sort of poetic requiem for the children who died in the bombings.

I come and stand at every door
But none can hear my silent tread
I knock and yet remain unseen
For I am dead, for I am dead

I’m only seven, though 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 sweets nor even bread
I ask for nothing for myself
For I am dead for I am dead

All that I need is that for peace
You fight today, you fight today
So that the children of this world
Can live and grow and laugh and play

I’ve been looking around trying to find video of the little girl they had singing this solo, as her performance was spine-tingling. Long story short, if you ever get the chance to see this beautiful and touching oratorio, it’ll be time well-spent.