From the Editors
I used to,
I often used to hope
as autumn painted forests with gold
or muted crimson,
I so hoped to see Iraq’s face in the morning
to loosen water’s braids over me,
to satisfy its mermaids with salty tears,
to float over Abu l-Khaseeb’s rivulets to ask the trees:
Do you, trees, know where my father’s grave is?
. . .
I often used to hope!
Let it be .
Let autumn finish its cycle.
Iraq’s trees will remain naked.
Iraq’s trees will remain high.
Iraq’s trees will be secretly in the company
of my father’s face.
As fall winds wailed
in the surrounding hills
Are we, my friend, two rocks?
How often have the winds wailed?
How often have we been struck?
--by cold and harm?
How often have we lost our bets?
Yet we stand here.
. . .
I said: Don't grieve.
We are the eye of time
O Nostalgia: My enemy
We’ve been at it for thirty years.
We meet like two thieves on a journey
whose details are not fully known.
With every passing station
the train cars decrease in number,
the light grows dimmer.
But your wooden seat, occupying all trains,
still has its constants.
The etchings of years--
cameras no one remembers,
and trees that lie under dirt;
I took a look at you
for a moment,
then rushed panting to the last car
faraway from you
. . .
I said: the road is long.
I took out my bread and a piece of cheese from my sack.
I saw you eyeing me, this way
sharing my bread and cheese!
How did you find me?
Jump at me like a hawk?
I didn’t travel tens of thousands of miles,
didn’t wander across many countries,
didn’t know thousands of branches
so that you could come now, steal my treasure,
and corner me.
Now leave your seat and get off the train,
my train will speed past after this station
--so get off,
and let me go
where no train will ever stop.
Translated by Sinan Antoon and Peter Money.
From Sa`di Yusuf, al-A`mal al-Shi`riyya: al-Juz' al-Sadis (Beirut & Baghdad:Dar al-Jamal, 2009)
2 comments for "Three Poems by Saadi Youssef"
If you prefer, email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hot on Facebook
Jadalicious / جدلشس
The complex status of Muslim youths in these neoliberal times is what we intend to explore in this book.click | email | tweet
Latest EntriesView All Entries »
- Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 16)
- بدايات، فصلية ثقافية فكرية: لكل فصول التغيير
- Last Week on Jadaliyya (September 8-14)
- Egypt Media Roundup (September 15)
- Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani: A Profile from the Archives
- Maghreb Media Roundup (September 12)
- The Question of Judeo/Arabic(s): Itineraries of Belonging [Lecture at GMU]
- Syria Media Roundup (September 13)
- Announcing the New Issue of Middle East Report -- Fuel and Water: The Coming Crises
- The University of Illinois Board of Trustees Votes against Reinstating Professor Salaita
- Behind the Bahraini Revolution: An Interview with Maryam Al-Khawaja
- Algeria’s Jewish Past-Present
- O.I.L. Media Roundup (10 September)
- ملف من الأرشيف: محمد عبده
- Salaita Speaks Out: A Report-Back from the Press Conference
- New Texts Out Now: Linda Herrera, Revolution in the Age of Social Media: The Egyptian Popular Insurrection and the Internet
- First Official Statement by Steven Salaita Concerning His Termination from UIUC
- Today’s Intellectuals: Too Obedient?
- The Un-Islamic State
- Egypt Media Roundup (September 8)
Jad NavigationView Full Map, Topics, and Countries »
@theCCR Apologies, it is being reposted shortly.
yesterday at 9:22 AM
Egypt Media Roundup (September 15) http://t.co/NNK1b2uJk6
yesterday at 7:57 AM
Last Week on Jadaliyya (September 8-14) http://t.co/nO20k9f4b8
yesterday at 7:26 AM
what happened in #syria this week? http://t.co/krr62UhotQ
yesterday at 5:21 AM
apply now #fellowships #Arabscholars http://t.co/4hq4EK26Ha
yesterday at 5:20 AM