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جاءت مُعذْبتي في غيهبِ الغسقِ                   كأنّها الكوكبُ الدّرى في الأفق

ِفقلتِ نورتني يا خير زائرةٍ                    أما خشْيتي مِنْ الحُراسِ في الطُرقِ

فجاوبتني و دمعُ العين يسبقُها                مَنْ يركبْ البحَر لا يخشَى مِنْ الغرقِ


لسان الدين الخطيب


I thought about it but no, I just can’t translate that.


This is a piece from the poem "A message from strange lands" by Ghada Al Samman in her "Letters of Nostalgia to Jasmine"  (رسائل  الحنين  إلى  الياسمين ) links:1, 2, 3 and my translation. As always, Ghada is too feminine for me but her imagery is simply brilliant.


لأنك تشبه الضباب، تخترقني،

وأمتلئ بك من حيث لا أدري..

لأنك تشبه الصاعقة،

أجهل متى تنشب فيَّ نارك أو ضوءك..

لأنك تشبه الأفق،

يستحيل احتضانك أو امتلاكك أو تسويرك..

لأنك تشبه الريح تخافك أجراسي..

لأنك تشبه الماء الجامح تهابك سدودي..

لأنك تشبه حمى الجنون تطلق هذياني..

ولأني أشبهك أخشاك، أحبك وأكرهك في آن،

وأحدّق في زلزال أمزجتك كمن يُحدّق في مرآة،

وأهمس لك داخل لحظة واحدة: أهلاً.. ووداعاً،

يا من يُسقيني عطشي، فـأرتوي


Because you are like fog you penetrate me

and I am filled with from I don’t know where ..

Because you are like the storm

I don’t know when your fire or light will get to me ..

Because you are like the horizon

it is impossible to hug, own, or fence you ..

Because you are like the wind my bells fear you ..

Because you are like the untamed water my dams dread you ..

Because you are like the fevers of madness you unleash my hallucinations ..

And because I am like you I fear you, I love and hate you at once,

I stare at the earthquakes of your whims like she who stares in a mirror

I whisper to you, hello and goodbye, at once,

You, who lets me drink my own thirst till I am fulfilled.

I wrote this piece with discovery/Aletheia in mind but in retrospect it reads like something on quantum physics. Leibniz is entangled inside my thoughts again. This is so messed up but here it is anyway.




Near yet far, clear yet blurry, one yet many.

Too many to count and too many to uncount.

How much light has gone by without an eye to see it? How much light will go by without an eye to see it?

I can almost touch you but then it is not you anymore. I can almost see you but then my eyes are not my eyes anymore.

I change you and you change me.

A glimpse is all I can know.

But what are all these glimpses and where do they come from?

A glimpse is all I can’t know.

A steady gaze is what I want. To be immersed in light. To be baptized in it. To be blinded by it.

To really see.

Then change wouldn’t be pure anymore because what’s pure doesn’t really change.

Then what’s near would be not far, what’s clear not blurry, and the one not many.

And time (and space) would be the pure illusion it seems.