Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the Dead Little Girl
Today is the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Not even a poem told through the burnt eyes of a dead seven-year-old girl can fully describe the horrors of an atomic bombing. But it’s still important:
It is me knocking at your door
at how many doors I’ve been
But no one can see me
Since the dead are invisible.
I died at Hiroshima
that was ten years ago
I am a girl of seven
Dead children do not grow.
First my hair caught fire
then my eyes burnt out
I became a handful of ashes
blown away by the wind.
I don’t wish anything for myself
for a child who is burnt to cinders
cannot even eat sweets.
I’m knocking at your doors
aunts and uncles, to get your signatures
so that never again children will burn
and so they can eat sweets.
This is a poem by the amazing Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Musical versions of this poem have been recorded by Pete Seeger and The Byrds, Joan Baez, Paul Robeson and many other musicians – from Japan, Turkey, the USA and other countries.
Not just the complete terror of these tragic bombings, but also the number of people killed is difficult to grasp. The most conservative estimate is that 129,000 people were killed, but other sources suggest it was more than 246,000 people. Tens of thousands died immediately, others suffered for months or years. The number of cancer deaths caused by the nuclear attacks is also difficult to estimate.
The only thing easy to understand about these tragedies is that they should NEVER happen again. And this poem by Nazim Hikmet clearly shows why.