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The Hill

Poem No.: 221 النص العربي: لا يوجد

Do not slap me, destiny,

Metres of smacks already cover my face.

Here I am, while the wind's blowing in the streets,

Charging out of books, dictionaries and taverns

The same way soldiers charge out of trenches.

O centuries, mean like an insect,

You who seduced me with a fan instead of a storm,

With matches instead of volcanos.

I will never forgive you.

I will return to my village, on foot if need be

I will spread, on my arrival, rumours about you.

I will lie down on the grass and beside the ditches

Like a knight exhausted after battle.


Like trained dogs leaping circles of fire

I will cross these gates and windows,

These sleeves and collars,

Flying like a hawk

Above the shyness of virgins

And the suffering of workers

At twilight spreading my wings like a swallow

In search of a virgin land that at the lightest touch

Of a cottage, a palace, an emir or a begger,

Will leap in the air as a wild horse

At the touch of a saddle,

A land that has not existed and will never exist

Except in my notebooks.


All right, century, you have defeated me,

But I will not find in all the Orient

A summit where I can hoist

The flag of my surrender.


Translated by Abdul Kader El Janabi

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