Translation Thursday - Arabic Poetry

Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi, Moubarak Ouassat, Mahmoud Darwish

Arabic Poetry in Translation


Marrakesh

If you are a new reader on my blog, you may not know that I love Arabic, and am currently learning the language. The above picture was taken in Morocco, when I travelled there two weeks ago with two friends. It made sense for me to continue on the Arabic theme and share some Arabic poetry today.

Moubarak Ouassat

The first poem I am linking to is Perplexité. The poem is available in Arabic, with a translation in French (translated by the poet), but an English one does not seem to be available. Here is a quote from the poem:


Et de quoi peut rêver 
Un oiseau
Que peut l’arbre
Après que la pluie
Ait été reportée


Now, here is my (rough!) translation for you non-French speakers:

And of what can dream
A bird
What can do the tree
After the rain
Has been delayed

It's a pretty rough translation - the first line is not great, grammatically, but I wanted to keep the bird on his own line. For the tree line, I used the verb 'do', but in the French version it is not used - the line gives more a sense of powerlessness - literally it would be 'what can the tree'. 'Do' felt like the best choice.

Mahmoud Darwish

Second, I am linking Darwish's A State of Siege (or rather, an extract). Translated by Sabry Hafez and Sarah Maguire. 


Peace for the traveller on the other side
is to hear a traveller talking to himself.

Peace is the sound of a dove in flight
heard by two strangers standing together.

al-Saddiq al-Raddi

I've shared poems by this poet before - I also have a book of his poetry in Arabic and English that I've still not read fully - sadly it is on London, and I am not.
The poem I am sharing today is A Body. Translated by Atef Alshaer and Sarah Maguire.


You must breach the horizon, once,
in order to wake up.
You must open window after window.
You must support the walls.

--

Do you like poetry from other countries? Do you have a favourite poet who writes in a language you don't know (and would like to be able to read the poems in the original language?)

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