The work of Turkish poet Nâzim Hikmet revealed the bifurcated world inside the famous national modernization project of Mustafa Kemal. Hikmet's poetic vision in Human Landscapes from My Country was offered in response to the modernity-as-project that dominated the nationalist political landscape. A gap lay between the promise of modernity and its realization; as a modernist of development, Nâzim Hikmet set out to represent that disjuncture in its full complexity. Hikmet demonstrated through his poetic work that modernity has been a mode of transformation compatible with different ideological commitments and various cultural identities. A close examination of his literary representation of the railway enables us to rethink the role played by modernism within a global context of development.