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 email@example.com.
Hot on Facebook
Jad NavigationView Full Map, Topics, and Countries »
Jadalicious / جدلشس
No Ceasefire without Justice for Gaza http://t.co/ivVPmrYo29
11 hours ago
[now, even the BBC!] When BBC Calls, Don't Answer: http://t.co/XGcT0Sv5l6 via @rfalk13
11 hours ago
Video: Gaza—Is This a War on Children? http://t.co/tSr67a2qPx
13 hours ago
Jadaliyya Co-Editor Noura Erakat Debates the Tactics and Ethics of Warfare on PBS Newshour http://t.co/pKPwko1thr
14 hours ago
Jadaliyya Co-Editor Noura Erakat Debates the Tactics and Ethics of Warfare on PBS Newshour http://t.co/Mni3VlCoR8
yesterday at 10:36 PM
Latest EntriesView All Entries »
- No Ceasefire without Justice for Gaza
- Video: Gaza—Is This a War on Children?
- Press Release: From Tel Aviv to Toronto, Los Angeles to London, Chicago to San Francisco, Jews Say No to Israeli Genocide
- The Palestinian Resistance and Its Enemies
- Jadaliyya Co-Editor Noura Erakat Debates the Tactics and Ethics of Warfare on PBS Newshour
- Media on the Margins: An Interview with Sky News' Sherine Tadros on Reporting the Israeli Attack on Gaza
- O.I.L. Media Roundup (24 July)
- A Debate on Gaza: Democracy Now! Interviews Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada and. J.J. Goldberg of the Jewish Daily Forward
- New Texts Out Now: Mohammad Ali Kadivar, Alliances and Perception Profiles in the Iranian Reform Movement, 1997 to 2005
- Fractured Space: The Case of Souk al-Ahad, Beirut
- Al-Diwan Roundup: News and Analysis in Publishing and Academia from the Arab World
- Can Palestinian Men be Victims? Gendering Israel's War on Gaza
- Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (July 22)
- Israel Mows the Lawn
- نون"... حرف واحدة تكفي فاتحة للخراب الاكبر في العراق"
- Mohamed Bouazizi, l'ouvrier agricole : Relire la « révolution » depuis les campagnes tunisiennes
- Egypt Media Roundup (July 21)
- Video: US Aid to Israel - The Real Deal
- بغايا بغداد التعيسات
- Last Week on Jadaliyya (July 14-20)