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Monday, 14 March 2011



by Iyad Hayatleh

From dawn to dusk

I go without food and water

and have no sense of hunger

for hunger is not the hunger of stomachs;

it is the longing

longing of lovers to be with their beloved;

it’s the yearning

yearning of the homeless to return to the land

where memories for six decades

fall asleep on a promise,

the promised return of the dream

on the wings of the nightingale.

Years rush behind years

like clouds hiding days of deep grief

of exile

in waving layers

to leave only the evening of life

and tears of the stranger

with few remaining wishes.

O powerful night

please lift the veil of the sky

and bring glad tidings to the flood of worshippers,

to my family and my people,

tidings of the bright morning coming soon

with blessing for the whole world.

My love

my God, the Lord of heaven and earth

knower of things unseen

the affectionate, the merciful, the gracious, the greatest,

for you I fast my long day

to you I pray my solemn night.

May I win some approval from you

and may you remove from my shoulders the burden of sin.

Cleanse my soul for thirty days with the beauty of forbearance

and let me reach the day of Eid

a new person, with a new dress.

Translated by Tessa Ransford with the poet, Iyad Hayatleh

1 comment:

  1. A beautiful and moving poem. Thank you Iyad and thank you Tessa for translating it.