Choir of Eternity

The worst is over
your flower is faded
And seed set
in the soil

Mother Courage
can you hear the people

Such weight of soul
Such lightness of laughter
Who taught you to sing
an honest tune?

Your mother
And father
With eyes deeper than time

Smile on in the hearts
of millions now.
Now, that the worst
is over.

Now rage and indignance
burn bright anew
for you
and your honest tune

True and strong
like the eternal Bosporus
like Nazim’s eyes
fresh from daydreams of Piraye

Piraye, on the horizon
Beyond this Bursa cell
Beyond the bars on your window

You must know,
it was not in vain
You must know
that we are with you, still;

And more and more
Every day averted eyes
Turn to see
the source of sublime

An honest tune
True and strong
like the eternal Bosporus

Frail and failing
like your fingers
But free!

Free and noble
the flags unfurl
in furious rupture

Inside the hearts
of millions
and millions
of voices
fill your silence

You sing now
through us all
impossible to silence

The deafening roar
of your soft voice

amacil siir (“poetry with a purpose”)

• Author’s Note:  In honor of Helin Bolek, who died April 3, 2020 on hunger strike against the Turkish government’s ban on her group’s politicized music.

Justin Theodra is a master's student at SOAS University of London interested in intellectual biography, Marxist political economy, and the life and work of Samir Amin. He runs the Lives on the Left and Songs of Revolution facebook pages. Read other articles by Justin.