Sunday, 30 January 2011

Poem echoes pleas of fallen Egyptian protesters

I recently came across this breath-taking short poem by Samih al-Qasim سميح القاسم and it immediately reminded me of the brave demonstrators who died in clashes this week in Egypt fighting for the revolution (there were at least 100).

The poem speaks to me of political struggle; using the moment to take the struggle to its completion. The martyred speaker talks of travel tickets in his possession. Even to his killer his words are adamant: don't waste the tickets.

The Arabic is below the English translation:

Travel Tickets

On the day you kill me
You’ll find in my pocket                                                                                              
Travel tickets                                                                                                                
To peace,                                                                                                                    
To the fields and the rain,                                                                                          
To people’s conscience.                                                                                        
Don’t waste the tickets.

تذاكر سفر
وعندما اُقْتل في يومٍ من الأيامْ
سيعثرُ القاتلُ في جيبي
على تذاكرِ السفرْ
واحدة إلى السّلامْ
واحدة إلى الحقولِ والمطرْ
إلى ضمائرِ البشرْ
أرجوكَ ألّا تُهْمل التذاكِرْ)
يا قاتلي العزيزْ
أرجوكَ أن تسافرْ..)

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