Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Under Siege

Here on the slopes of hills,
facing the dusk and the cannon of time
Close to the gardens of broken shadows,
We do what prisoners do,
And what the jobless do:
We cultivate hope.

A country preparing for dawn. We grow less intelligent
For we closely watch the hour of victory:
No night in our night lit up by the shelling
Our enemies are watchful and light the light for us
In the darkness of cellars.

Here there is no "I".
Here Adam remembers the dust of his clay.

You who stand in the doorway, come in,
Drink Arabic coffee with us
And you will sense that you are men like us
You who stand in the doorways of houses
Come out of our morningtimes,
We shall feel reassured to be
Men like you!

[To a killer] If you had contemplated the victim’s face
And thought it through, you would have remembered your mother in the
Gas chamber,
you would have been freed from the reason for the rifle
And you would have changed your mind: this is not the way
to find one’s identity again.

The siege is a waiting period
Waiting on the tilted ladder in the middle of the storm.

Mahmoud Darwish
Traduit par: Marjolijn De Jager


Loula la nomade said...

Preums attends je reviens avec des poèmes de quelques grands.

Loula la nomade said...
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Loula la nomade said...

Saadi Yousef wrote a poem to his friend Muzaffar Al Nawab. The poem is also about the mating of jackals at night in the country. If my memory serves me correctly it was written after the invasion of Iraq

Mudhaffar al- Nawab:
O, Mudhaffar al-Nawab,
My life-long comrade.
What are we to do about the jackals’ wedding?
You remember the old days:
In the cool of the evening
under a bamboo roof
propped on soft cushions stuffed with fine wool
we’d sip tea (a tea I’ve never since tasted)
among friends….
Night falls as softly as our words
under the darkening crowns of the date palms
while smoke curls from the hearth, such fragrance
as if the universe had just begun
Then a cackling explodes
from the long grass and date palms –
the jackal’s wedding!
O, Mudhaffar al-Nawab –
today isn’t yesterday
(truth is as evanescent as the dream of a child) –
truth is, this time we’re at their wedding reception,
yes, the jackal’s wedding
you’ve read their invitation:
O, Mudhaffar al-Nawab,
Let’s make a deal:
I’ll go in your place
(Damascus is too far away from that secret hotel…)
I’ll spit in the jackals’ faces,
I’ll spit on their lists,
I’ll declare that we are the people of Iraq –
we are the ancestral trees of this land,
proud beneath our modest roof of bamboo.

And Mudhaffar al-Nawab replies with another poem from Damascus:

Would you ever forgive a lynch mob
Just because they pulled your stiff corpse
From the gallows?
And never trust a freedom fighter
Who turns up with no arms –
Believe me, I got burnt in that crematorium.
Truth is, you’re only as big as your cannons,
While the crowds who wave knives and forks
Simply have eyes for their stomachs.
O my people in love with their homeland,
I’m not scared of barbarians at our gates.
I’m afraid of the enemies within

The best poem I heard on Jerusalem is from Mouzzafar Annawab, can't find a written version, even his old website does not work properly. Mind you both poets are still in exile.
Extraits d'Al Qods

wa adkhatounaha
wa baqaytoum tasstami3ouna
Ila sourakha bakaratiha
ya Abn'a ^*(*((*
Ina 7atha dirwati al khinziri
Athara min atharikoum

Puis là il insulte les gouvernants arabes et je me souviens seulement de ce qui suit:

Wa anta ya Hafeza al Assad
3ala mane 7aafadhta
Wa fi ayi baladin anta assad?

Bon, bein Mwah:-)

Najlae said...

Loula, ma 3endi ma netssallik! raki on top of it :))
Mwah aussi

Loula la nomade said...

On essaie, on essaie NajNaj:-) Ce sont mes années de nidal, rappelles je dois te raconter l'anecdote sur Nidal:-), mais par tel c'est mieux:-)

Najlae said...

avec plaisir! g oublie mon tel kay chargea a la maison but anytime this week :-) I also wanna hear about Tony Soprano ;)

Jallal said...

Ola Najlae,

“we cultivate hope.” I’m afraid, ultimately, we are cultivating hopelessness. But at least with the likes of Darwish, we may aspire to cultivating hope.

Mais il est fort, ce Annawab, Loula! J’aurais aime le poeme en entier, la ou il ridiculise Assad.

Najlae said...

je refuse ton "I’m afraid, ultimately, we are cultivating hopelessness." Allah yakhoud l7aqq a wlidi. hadchi man talbou

Loula la nomade said...

NajNaj ok, renvoie-moi tes# de tel.
Jallal, ah oui le poème était une véritable giffle aux gouvernants arabes de l'époque. Il était même interdit de circulation. J'aimerais tant, moi aussi, mettre la main sur la version complète, pas encore trouvé. Avis aux âmes charitables si vous le trouvez, laissez-moi savoir.

hisniper said...

Euh !
Loula la nomade,
une ame charitable ..


Bonne lecture Communiste ;)

Loula la nomade said...


Merci, mais je ne peux écouter je vais donc attendre de rentrer à la maison. Je connaissais le site de Nawab, mais pas celui de Yousef. Merci.
Mais le poème est-il là?
Tu connais la fameuse définition du capitalisme. Bein le communisme c'est juste le contraire que disait Coluche:-)

Jallal said...