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Two blind men.

There's a blind man I know: His eyes have no sight, But he is not blind. Though he sometimes gets scorched in the fire of sorrows, He does not turn a cold shoulder to his passion and his mind. He reads and writes day and night, In his mind's eye he sees, feels, knows.

But . . . There is someone else . . . Although he is not blind, He cannot see nonetheless. His bosom friend might get killed before his very eyes, "I saw nothing," he says. He claims whatever is good as his, but fails to see the bad; Looks at the clock, but can't tell what time it is. Nothing noble visits his thoughts and feelings; Often he denies he saw something though he really did.

A man is hardly blind if his eyes have no sight; Blind is he who does not want to see. To such an ignorant troglodyte, Life itself is a grave, if you ask me.

Translated from the Turkish and the Azeri By Talat Sait Halman

BAHTIYAR VAHAPADZE (b. 1925) is one of Azerbaijan's most prominent poets. He obtained a doctorate in philology at Azerbaijan State University, where he subsequently became a professor of modern Azeri literature. His publications include many collections of poems and short stories, plays, travel journals, scholarly articles, and journalistic pieces.
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Author:Vahapzade, Bahtiyar
Publication:World Literature Today
Date:Jun 22, 1996
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