Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The Place Will Fit Everything - Ashur Etwebi

Here's one from Libya, seeing as it's in everyone's thoughts at the moment. There's an interesting article on Words Without Borders which gives a background to literature there.

Born in Tripoli in 1952, Ashur Etwebi is a novelist, poet, and practices and teaches medicine.

سيسع المكان كل شيء

صوت الريح يمتد
 موسيقى الجاز تخفي بعضا من صخبها
 تحرك الأيدي شيئا في الفراغ
 أقول: رومانسية قديمة
 لابأس سيسع المكان كل شيء
يهبط البصر على مسالك رخوة
يتمطى بها المعدن الرخيص
 شجر يابس وأخر ينزع
من الرمل الغريق ماءه غصبا
 أقول: كآبة عابرة
لابأس سيسع المكان كل شيء
 في النهار تأتي الشمس إلى الجبل
تضع يدها
يد الأحبة باردة
 تضرب الحجر بالحجر
ترقص الأعشاب الجبلية وراء الحجر
لا تراها الشمس
القمر وحده يتبعها إلى ما وراء المنحنى
 والحجارة الحارسة  ترقب من بعيد
 أقول: صدفة عابرة
 لا بأس سيسع المكان كل شيء    

The Place Will Fit Everything

The sound of the wind stretches its limbs.
The jazz music witholds some of its ruckus. 
Hands move something in the dark.
I say: just an old romanticism...
No matter, the place will fit everything.

Vision descends upon flaccid pathways
and rides them on cheap metal. 
Dried out trees and others take their water
from the drowned sand by force.
I say: a passing depression.
No matter, the place will fit everything. 
During the day the sun approaches the mountain,
places its hand upon it,
its cold hand of lovers,
strikes stone with stone.
Mountain scrub dances behind the stone.
The sun does not see it. 
Only the moon shines upon it all the way beyond the bend
and the guardian stones watch from afar.
I say: a passing coincidence.
No matter, the place will fit everything. 

Translation by Khaled Mattawa( taken from this book, which can be viewed online through amazon.)

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