Originally published: https://sipan50.tripod.com/id5.html

Cigerxwin (“The bleeding heart”), is a pseudonym for Sheikmous Hasan. He came from north Kurdistan and was mainly known as a poet. He made a great impact on Kurdish poetry through his work. He produced books on Kurdish history, literary history , Kurdish grammar and also a dictionary. He was born in 1901 or 1903 in the Kurdish village of Hesar close to city the of Mardin within the then Ottoman Empire. In 1925 he fled to Syria, in 1958 to Iraq and in 1970s to Lebanon. In 1979 he again fled from oppression to Sweden aged 76. Here he was able to publish several collections of poetry that no publisher in the Middle East had wanted to publish, due to the infected Kurdish question. Cigerxwin has often been called the father of Kurdish literature. He died in Sweden in 1984.

Who am I?

who am I, you ask ?

The kurd of Kurdistan,

a lively volcano,

fire and dynamite

in the face of enemy.

When furious,

I shake the mountains,

the sparks of my anger

are death to my foes.

Who am I ?

I am in the east,

forts and castles

towns and hamlets,

rouks and boulders,

What irony, what a shameful day !

A slave I am now for blood suckers

Yet I saved the Middle East

from the Romans and the crusaders.

Who am I ?

Ask the Near East,

Ask the Middle East,

villages and towns,

plains and deserts.

They were once all mine

when by war and knowledge

I defeated rivals

to become crowned over an empire

stretching to the borders of India.

Who am I ?

I am the proud Kurd,

the enemies’ enemy,

the friend of peace-loving ones.

I am of noble race,

not wild as they claim.

My mighty ancestors

were free people.

Like them I want to be free

and that is why I fight

for the enemy won’t leave in peace

and I don’t want to be forever oppressed.

Who am I ?

I shall free my land

from the tyrants;

from the crrupt Shah and Mollas,

from the Turkish juntas

so we may live free

like other nations,

so my gardens and meadows

are mine again;

So I can join the struggle

for the good of mankind.

Who am I ?

It was I who defeated

Richard the Lionheart

My own blood I shed

to defend these regions.

A thorn I was in my enemies’ side;

in my shadow lived the Arabs, Turks and Persian;

many a king held my horse’s head.

Yes I am the warrior,

I am Saladin,

the King of Egypt, Syria and Israel.

Who am I ?

I am Ardashir,

I am Noshi Rawan.

In the acient days

rivals feared my caesars

regretted my animosity.

I knew no fright;

in love with adventure;

from India to Greece

they paid me tribute.

Who am I ?

Yes, I am the Kurd,

the Kurd of Kurdistan

who is poor and oppressed today.

My castles and forts

are now demolished;

my name and my fame’

swindled by my assailants,

those who set germs into my body

to paralize my existence

making a nameless soul of me;

a nation with no friends.

Who am I?

I am the one who despite it all

remains the unyielding Kurd;

still formidable to the enemy.

The smell of dynamite is again in my nostrils

and in my heart the strong desire to erupt.

I am the fighting valiant of mountains

who is not in love with death

but for the sake of life and freedom

he sacrifices himself

so that the land of his ancestors,

the invincible Medes;

his beloved Kurdistan , may become unchained.

Who am I?

One of my ancestors was the Blacksmith Kawa

who slayed Dahak, the notorious tyrant

to break off chains from Kurdish shoulders

and save many heads from the sword and death.

The day his vicious reign ended

was called NEWROZ, the New Day.

When Newroz comes winter departs

taking with it the dark harsh times

to make place for light and warmth.

This is the time, as Zoroaster says,

the evil spirit Ahriman is defeated

at the hand of Ormazd, the god of wisdom and light.

Who am I?

I am the maker of Newroz;

again I shall become my own master,

the ruler of my land

so I may enjoy the fruits of my orchards,

relish the sacred wines of my vineyards

and put an end to a dark era

by seeking salvation in knowledge and science;

I shall make another new day

and breathe the pure air of the liberty.

Who am I?

I am Kordokh, the good old Khaldew;

I am Mitan; Nayri and Sobar;

the son of Lo Lo; Kardok and Kodi;

I am the Mede, the Gosh, Hori and Gudi;

I am the Kurmanc, Kelhor; Lor and Gor;

yes, I have always been and remain the Kurd.

Despite centuries of suppression

in a country by force divided.

Who am I?

I am the son of Lor, Kelhor and Kurmanc

who have lost crown and reign

to become powerless,

betrayed in the name of religion

to carry rosaries in their hands

duped by the rulers,

deprived of might and wealth,

fighting each other, divided and torn

while my oppressed Kurdistan,

my wretched Kurdistan

remains prossessed.

Who am I?

The son of the Kurdish nation

awaken from deep sleep,

marching forward,

proud as a lion

wanting the whole world to know;

I shall struggle and continue the path to freedom;

I shall learn from great men,

Like Marx and Lenin.

I make a vow to my ancestors,

to Salar, Shergo and Deysem,

that this of mine will remain vigorous, unyielding, stronger than death.

Let it be kown;

I announce with no fear;

Liberty is my goal;

I shall advance in this path.

Who am I ?

I am not blood thirsty;

no, I adore peace.

Noble were my ancestors;

sincere are my leaders,

We don’t ask for war but demand equality

but our enemies are the ones who betray and lie.

Friendship I seek and offer my hands

to all friendy nations.

Long live Kurdistan;

death to the oppressor!!!


Translation: Shahin Baker.


Ehmede Khani, the greatest Kurdish poet ever, lived between 1650-1707, in Cizire, a town that lies in the province of Mardin. Ehmede Xani, the author of “Mem and Zin”, the great Kurdish love story is considered to be the epogee of Kurdish literture. Ehmede Xani’s work is a clear evidence of the reality of the Kurdish literature since the tenth century. Xani, back in the 1600’s saw and wrote the Kurdish situation. In his work Kurdish patriotism and Kurdish reality are incredibly powerful. When people of the region were in the midst of religious conflicts and identified themselves as Christians or Mohammedan (moslems) instead of their ethnic origins, Xani’s thesis for an independent Kurdistan was all too advanced. The remarkable fact is that Xani lived before the rise of modern nationalism.

Our Trouble

Bartender! For the love of God, please

Pour some wine into the crystal glass

Let the glass with the wine show the world

Let there appear whatever it is that we wish

Let the events ahead of us come to light

Let us know if the future holds promise for us

Look! Our misfortune has reached its zenith,

Has it started to come down do you think?

Or will it remain so,

Until come upon us the end of time?

Is it possible, I wonder, that for us, too

A star will emerge out of the firmament?

Let the luck be on our side for once,

Let our lady luck wake up for change.

Let there emerge from within us, too,

One to shoulder the earth

Let there be a king of our own, too.

Let his sword attest to our might

Let it be known the power of our pen,

Let there be an answer to our trouble

Let there be an demand for our knowledge.

If we had an exalted leader,

A do-gooder wanting a poem

Our bullion, too, would be stamped

It wouldn’t be so unwanted and suspect.

However pure and clean they may be,

Value is added to gold and silver with a stamp

If we had a king,

If God saw him deserving of a crown

If a throne was appointed to him,

Our luck would turn around.

If he, too, was provided with a crown

Of course, for us too there would be respect.

He would feel sorry for us orphans,

He would set us free from bondage to the cravens.

They would not be vicorious over us these Turks

Ours would not turn into ghost towns,

We wouldn’t become fugitives, dispossessed, wretched,

We wouldn’t bow our heads in defeat to the Turks, the Tadjiks

But God made it so from time memorial

He made the Turks and the Persians attack us.

Although it is disgraceful to be their subjects,

This disgrace belongs to the persons of repute

This is a matter of honor for the Chiefs, the leaders

What can the troubadours and the dispossessed do?

Who ever took the mighty sword in his hand,

Established in a manly manner a state for himself.

Becuase the world is like a prize bride,

Its fate, too, is determined by the mighty sword

But its dowry [2], trousseau, jewels and wedding presents

Are goodness, generosity, kindness and forgiveness.

I asked the world, “What is your dowry?”

“Benevolence”, it said to me.

In short, “with the sword and goodness,

the world submits and bows its head to man”.

I am confused by God’s wisdom:

In this world of States

Why have the Kurds remained Stateless, dispossessed,

What for have they all become fugitives, condemned?

They have conquered the spring of fame with sword

They have subjugated the land of benevolence

Every one of their chiefs is of Hatem’s generosity

And of Rostem’s [3] bravery is every one of their men

Look! From Arbia to Georgia

It is all but Kurdish lands like a fortress

Like a great wall the Kurds stand between the Turks and the Persians

Here and there are all the Kurds occupying all four corners

Both sides make the Kurdish clans

Targets of their poison-tipped arrows

As if the Kurds hold the key to crossing the borders

Each clan is as strong as a great wall

However rough and stromy they get

These Turkish ocean and Persian sea

It is the Kurds who are splattered with blood

And like a rampart separates the two.

Generosity, benevolence, bravery,

Chivalry, guardianship and valor

All are credited to the Kurdish clans

The fame of their sword and their benevolence is farflung

To the same extent they cherish freedom and independence,

They hate submission and obligations.

It is the spirit of independence and exalted bevevolence

That has become the obstacle to shouldering the burden of obligation

Always without unity it is because of this

Divided and pitched against one another they stand

If we had unity amongst ourselves,

If we all together obeyed one another

The Turks, the Arabs and the Persians

Would all together be in our servitude

Then we would perfect the art of government and religion

Then we would acquire all the wisdom and command nature

Wheat would be separarated from the chaff then,

Would come forth the real achievers then.


[2]Kurdistan, dowry is what the bridegroom pays his bride’s hand.

[3]Hatem and Rostem are legendary figures renowed for their generosity and bravery.


Translation: Shahin Baker and Bawermend