Only Iraq

Mahmoud Darwish

I remember A’SSayyab*, shouting at the Gulf in vain:
Iraq, Iraq, Only Iraq…
And from echo comes the only answer.
I remember A’ this Soumari space
A female had triumphed over the sterility of haze
And bequeathed us both the earth and the exile.
I remember A’Ssayyab…that poetry is born in Iraq
So be an Iraqi to become a poet O friend!
I remember A’Ssayyab…who did not find life as he had imagined
Between the Tigris and Euphrates, and did not think as
Gelgamesh had thought of the herbs of eternity, and did not think of resurrection

I remember AA’Ssayyab…taking from Hamourabi all the lawa
To camouflage loins, and to walk to his tomb
I remember A’Ssayyab, when I cathch fever and hallucinate:
My brothers were preparing dinner to the army of Hulagu,
And no servants but them…my brothers!
I remeber A’Ssayyab…we have not dream of what is not worthy
As the bees’ food, and have not dream of more than
Two small hands shaking our absence…
I remember A’Ssayyab… blacksmiths of my death are arising
From the tombs and manufacturing our shakles!
I remember A’Ssayyab… that poetry is an experience and exile,
Twins, and we have not dream of more than a life
As the life, or die the way we die:

Iraq, Iraq, Only Iraq.

* Bader Shaker A’Ssayyab is a renowned Iraqi poet, died outside Iraq in the early sixties of the last century.

Last updated June 30, 2011