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Terri DeYoung and Elliott Colla

Badr Shakir al-Sayyab: Crutch in Hell

[Image of Sayyab, from Badr Shakir al-Sayyab, ed. Majid Salih al-Samara'i]

[This poem is purported to the be the last Sayyab composed during his life. We each translated it independently. Here, we present the two results, side by side. Between them and beyond them somewhere lies the beauty of the original.] 1. A Crutch in Hell I continue to circle Round the millstone of my pain A blindfolded bull, like a stone, how foolish to think it would rise up! While the people march onward to the mountain summits I cannot march—Woe unto me!—on my ...

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