A Sad State Of Freedom by Nazim Hikmet
You waste the attention of your eyes, the glittering labour of your hands, and knead the dough enough for dozens of loaves of which you'll taste not a morsel; you are free to slave for others-- you are free to make the rich richer.
The moment you're born they plant around you mills that grind lies lies to last you a lifetime. You keep thinking in your great freedom a finger on your temple free to have a free conscience.
Your head bent as if half-cut from the nape, your arms long, hanging, your saunter about in your great freedom: you're free with the freedom of being unemployed.
You love your country as the nearest, most precious thing to you. But one day, for example, they may endorse it over to America, and you, too, with your great freedom-- you have the freedom to become an air-base.
You may proclaim that one must live not as a tool, a number or a link but as a human being-- then at once they handcuff your wrists. You are free to be arrested, imprisoned and even hanged.
There's neither an iron, wooden nor a tulle curtain in your life; there's no need to choose freedom: you are free. But this kind of freedom is a sad affair under the stars.
Translated by Taner Baybars