Turkish poet’s verse quoted by Greek PM Tsipras in announcing resignation
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras leaves his office in Athens, on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. Giannis Kotsiaris/ InTime News via APGreece’s president has formally asked opposition leaders to form a new government after a party rebellion over a bailout deal forced Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to call early elections next month.
But caught amid the hubbub of the resignation was an ode to Turkey’s most famous poet, Nazım Hikmet. “Our best days have yet to be lived,” Tsipras said in trying to provide hope for an uncertain future after his government was forced to accept punishing austerity measures for a third international bailout.
Tsipras said he secured the best deal possible when he agreed to a three-year, 86 billion-euro ($95 billion) bailout from other eurozone countries to save Greece from a disastrous exit from the euro currency.
“I wish to be fully frank with you. We did not achieve the agreement that we were hoping for before the January elections,” he said. “But [the agreement we have] was the best anyone could have achieved. We are obliged to observe this agreement, but at the same time we will do our utmost to minimize its negative consequences,” he said.
“Our best days have yet to be lived,” he said, quoting the left-wing poet Nazım.
It was a line from Nazım’s “Poems For Piraye (9 To 10 O’clock Poems)” written in 1945.
The poem was a long letter from the writer, who was a political prisoner at the time, to his love, Piraye. The line quoted by Tsipras is from the following part of the poem:
Nazım voices his optimism for the future in the poem despite the harsh conditions of the time, linking his family’s fate to the world’s:
The final verses of the poem feature Nazım’s concerns and hopes: