Three poems by Wadih Saadeh

by qisasukhra

Three poems from Wadih Saadeh’s collection بسبب غيمة على الأرجح (Most probably because of a cloud) [1992].

(It turns out that these three poems are far from being untranslated: links to additional translations of these and other Saadeh poems and background at arablit.org, here.)

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Shadows

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They came away to water

down from their mountains as soft shadows

so as not to wake the grass.

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Passing the fields some had

their shades part from them and sleep there

and shades clung to the rocks, stretched out

and brought them back again.

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They came away until they came

to water, wearied

while overhead the sun searched for a needle

to reattach them to the shadows.

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*** ***

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Lilies

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Death did not dance in the squares alone

but by the flowers,

by the cockscombs, the snapdragons and the basil,

and stepped with spring water

to their tables.

Death was dancing,

and in the squares they

were blending with the asphalt

and those bending over the flowers were borne

aloft by bullets,

in the void becoming

lilies.

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*** ***

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A secret sky

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They found him

hand blue and open

a bee-eater’s wing

and mouth slightly open

as though he’d sought to sing.

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