The Poet's Voice 1
by Khalil Reza (1932-1994 )


I don't want freedom gram by gram, grain by grain.
I have to break this steel chain with my teeth!
I don't want freedom as a drug, as a medicine,
I want it as the sun, as the earth, as the heavens!
Step, step aside, you invader!
I am the loud voice of this land!
I don't need a puny spring,
I am thirsting for oceans!

This poem has also been published with the title "The Voice of Africa." During the Soviet period, many Azeri poets used other geographical locations in their poems to disguise their feelings about their own country and their own situation so that the Soviet censors would not suspect the true meaning and ban their works.

Translated by Aynur Hajiyeva

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