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Happily He Entered Death

Poem No.: 106 النص العربي: لا يوجد


That was he

He was my friend

whose body opened to receive the blade

He was neither mad nor rash

He was one

who would conquer the world with words

He placed a signpost for the procession of palm trees

Saying

It has come to an end

This was no misgiving he expressed, nor anticipation

He established a climate for his words

and threw his body into the path of brass feet

***

He said

I will end with the palms

He heard the rain weep,

the earth sob

He imposed his village on the city

binding stones together with grass

His timeless eyes merged his beloved with the homeland,

He set up for her a palace of words

***

He would charge in, move directly,

his conversation was a language teaching speech

and he was also my friend.

Enamoured with conquering

distances

and differences

He molded his creatures rapidly

rapidly he would proclaim rapidly act

and rapidly die

When he turned to ask, the blade struck him

He opened wide his body and the murder rushed in

as though he could not bear a deathless dying

and so he died

***

That was he

my friend who was still young

for love, for poetry, for his homeland

still young for death

but he died

That was he

whose friend I was

and still am.

_______________

Translated by

Lena jayyusi

and Naomi Shihab Nye


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