Thursday, 14 April 2011

A Woman - Saadi Youssef

Saadi Youssef (b.1934) is an Iraqi author and poet. He left Iraq in 1979 and now lives in London. You can find out more about him by reading the interview on his website. Below is a video of Youssef reciting this beautiful poem.


كيف أنقلُ خَطوي لها الآنَ ؟
في أيّ أرضٍ أراها ؟
وأيَّ الشوارعِ أسألُ ؟
أيَّ الـمُدُنْ ؟
ولو اني اهتديتُ إلى بيتِها ( لأقُلْ جدلاً )
هل سأضغطُ زرّاً على الباب؟
كيف أردُّ الجواب ؟
وكيف أحَدِّقُ  في وجهها ؟
كيف ألـمُسُ ذاكَ النبيذَ المرقرَقَ بين الأصابعِ ؟
كيف سأُلقي التحيةَ ؟
أُلقي عذابَ السنين...
قبلَ عشرين عاماً
في القطارِ الـمُكيَّفِ
قبّلتُها الليلَ كلَّــهْ !

How will I drag my feet to her now?
In which land will I see her
and on which street of what city
should I ask about her?
– and if I find her house
(Let’s suppose I do)
will I ring the bell?
How should I answer?
And how will I stare at her face
as I touch the light wine
seeping between her fingers
How should I say hello . . .
and how will I take the pain of all these years?
Once –
twenty years ago –
in an air-conditioned train
I kissed her all night through  . . . 

Translation by the poet (taken from his website)

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