For I am An Alien
Poem by : Badr Shakir al-Sayyab
For I am an alien
For the beloved Iraq is
Far away, and for I am here in longing
To it, to her…I scream : Iraq
But only whimper returned after my shouts
with echoes banged and exploded.
I feel like passing the distances
into a world of deaths failed to satisfy
And as when I shake the branches of the tree
Nothing shed off but deaths :
Stones not fruits,
Are stoned, even fresh air
Is stoned , and wetted with some certain blood..
Yet my shouts are stoned, yet my mouth is, now, rocks
And my legs are winds travel across the wilderness.
• Beirut, 15 April 1962
• Source: The Complete Works of Badr Shakir Al-Sayyab, vol. 1, Return Publishing house, Beirut, 1971. P.p. 195 – 196 .
• Badr Shakir al-Sayyab ( 1927 – 1964 )
An Iraqi poet lived short and tormented life. He was uncertain about his political and technical visions , and considered for long founder of modern Arabic Poetry. He ( according to Amatzia Baram and Wajeeh Elali ) dedicated much of his poetry to Iraq, its society, and its politics, and engaged in symbolic-mystical writing, borrowing mythological themes from the country’s ancient pre-Islamic history. Died of ill health in his thirties .
Translated From Arabic by : Saleh Razzouk