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Sargon Boulus: News About No One

[Sargon Boulus (1944-2007). Image by Samuel Shimon] [Sargon Boulus (1944-2007). Image by Samuel Shimon]

["Akhbar `an la ahad" was published in Sargon Boulus' posthumous collection "`Azma Ukhra li-Kalb al-Qabila" (Another Bone for the Tribe's Dog) (Baghdad and Beirut: Dar al-Jamal, 2008)


News About No One

Sargon Boulus


Those about whom we hear no news

Those who are remembered by none:

What wind has swept their traces

as if they never were?

My father and the others

Where are they?



What became of the man

who made beds and bridal chests?

Wood was so sacred to him!


Where is the silent shoemaker?

Hugging the anvil

chewing on his bitter nails?


His cave was full of old shoes

Did they bomb it

with one of those “smart bombs”?


Where is the coppersmith?

Where is the gold tray?


The wheat spike

entangled with the saint’s picture?

The horseshoe on the door?


What became of

Um Yusif

The midwife?

How many crying children did her hands pull

from the warm darkness of the womb

to the bareness of this world

Gone astray in the valleys of their fates

Soldiers fighting in lost

and unjust



After they had tired

of toiling in the mills of poverty

to fill the tyrant’s silos


Were they embarrassed

by the way this world

was made?


Were they disgusted by those lies?


After wars

After embargos


Beyond hunger

and enemies

Safe from the executioner’s hand


Did they finally go to sleep? 

To sleep and

cover themselves

with dust? 


[Translated from the Arabic by Sinan Antoon]

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