Foxes, and Poetry in Translation

Foxes are flavour of the month

It is the month of foxes. Search Twitter for #FoxyFeb, and you will find photographs, artwork, poetry.. all about foxes. I've been participating; contributing my own art, and sharing poems I've discovered. As I have been learning Arabic since last May, I wanted to link poetry, Arabic, and foxes. As it was, it didn't take much effort on my part. I'd asked for Arabic poetry recommendations on Twitter, and was not disappointed.

One of the poems written by al-Saddiq al-Raddi was titled "Small Fox":
Suddenly - a small fox, playful,
floods your wounded heart with joy
He searches your face with his singular gaze,
knows you're at one with his vagabond stance
 ثعلبٌ صغيرٌ

يمرحُ في قلبكِ الملوَّث 
أَفلحَ في الهطول تلك الليلةْ
غمرَهُ بالصعلكةِ واليُتمْ..
بما يكفي ويفيضْ..

Another of his poems I enjoy is "Some of Them Live with You". I hope the day will come where I will be able to read the original versions and understand them. At the moment, my Arabic level is very low, and though I can somewhat read (albeit very slowly), I don't understand all the words. I consider it a privilege to have translations, making all sorts of poetry accessible.
I recently ordered Inger Christensen's "alphabet", which I imagine was not the easiest of poems to translate, and yet, I will be able to read it in English. Translation is a wonderful skill to have. Studying English-French translation at university is making me more aware of the subtleties of language, and the beauty of playing with words. Perhaps in the near future I will try to translate a French poem into English.

Do you have any favourite translated poems? Or perhaps you have translated one yourself?
If you wish, let me know how your own poetry journey is going, in the comments below!


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