The Last Whisper

lest the cells of feelings die
as this moon
will go away
leaving me
for the beasts of the dark
and I've woven for him
from the hymns of my heart
love scarves
that the wind flung on the roads
tattered and bleeding


for my path is long…
Its end is the peak of the impossible
And standing here
under the midday sun
will turn me into
a mass of ash
And I must sit in the shadow…
of a straw
to keep in myself some sense
equal to a straw

that I may find me a companion
to sell him
what's been left
of the legends of an old love
in return for a whisper
a smile
a word
a glance
any price


(Translated by Nizar Sartawi)

(Translated from Arabic by Nizar Sartawi)

Between Two Eras

Nizar Sartawi's picture

Nizar Sartawi, a Jordanian poet and translator of Palestinian descent, was born in Sarta, Palestine, on February 16, 1951. He received his elementary, intermediate, and high school education in Jerusalem and Nablus schools. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Jordan in Amman. He also holds a Master’s degree in Human Resources Development from the University of Minnesota in the U.S., Sartawi began writing Arabic poetry at the age of 14. In 1980, he abandoned literary writing. However, in 2010, he returned to the world of poetry and literature. His first collection of Arabic poetry, Between Two Eras, was published in 1911. The collection combines his old and new poems., Sartawi translates poetry from English and other languages to Arabic and from Arabic to English. His translations have been published in poetry collections, literary journals, papers, and on the Internet. His translated works include:, - The Prayers Of The Nightingale (2013), Selected Poems by Indian poet Sarojini Naidu., - The Fragments of The Moon (2013), Selected poems by Italian poet Mario Rigli ., - Contemporary Jordanian Poets, Volume I (2013)., - The Eyes Of The Wind (2014), Selected Poems by Tunisian poet Fadhila Messai., - The Soul Dances In Its Cradle (2015), Selected Poems by Danish poet Niels Hav., Sartawi is currently working on a major translation project, Arab Contemporary Poets Series., Sartawi lives with his family in Amman, Jordan. He has one son, three daughters, and six grandchildren.

Last updated May 17, 2012