Adunis: The Fall (From Arabic)

The Fall
By Adunis
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

I l
ive between fire and plague,
With my language, with these worlds all mute,
I live in apple-grove and sky,
in the first happiness and the despondency
of when it was Eve and I,
master of that cursed tree,
master of fruit.
I live between clouds and sparks,
in stone that grows, 
in a book that knows
secrets and the Fall.

The Original:

قصيدة السقوط
ادونيس

أعيشُ بَينَ النارِ والطاعون
مَع لغتي، مع هذه العوالِمِ الخُرَساء
أعيشُ في حديقةِ التُفاحِ والسَماء
في الفَرَح الأوّل والقَنوط
بينَ يدَي حواء 
سيّد ذاك الشجر الملعون
وسيّد الثمار 
أعيشُ بين الغَيم والشَرار
في حَجَر يكبُرُ،  في كتاب
يعلَمُ الأسرار والسُقوط.


Adunis: Prophecy (From Arabic)

Prophecy 
By Adunis
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Out of our thousand-year-old sleep,
Out of our stunted history,
To the country dug grave-like into our lives,
To this drugged, murdered land,
A reverenceless sun arrives
To kill the sheikh 
    of locusts and of sand
And time that grows upon its plains
   And dries out on its plains
    Like fungus
A slaughter-loving, devastator sun
    Dawns on this bridge

The Original:

نبوءة
ادونيس

للوطن المحفور في حياتِنا كالقَبر
للوطنِ المخدَّرِ المقتول
تجيء من سُباتنا الألفيّ، من تاريخِنا المشلولْ
شمسٌ بلا عبادهْ
تقتلُ شيخَ الرّملِ والجرادَهْ
والزَمنَ النابتَ في سهوبهِ
اليابس في سهوبهِ
كالفِطْر
شَمسٌ تُحبُّ الفتكَ والإبادَهْ
تطلع من وراء هذا الجسر...

Samih al-Qasim: A Tale of One City (From Arabic)

A Tale of One City
By Samih Al-Qasim
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Once a blue city
Dreamt of foreigners
Milling around
And shopping every night and day..

There's a dark city
That hates foreigners
Making their rounds
With gunsights scanning each café..

The Original:

قصّةُ مدينة 
سميح القاسم

 كانت هناك  مدينةٌ زرقاء
تحلُمُ بالأجانب
يتسكعون وينفِقون
من الصباح ..الى الصباح..

صارت هناك مدينةٌ سوداء
تحتقِرُ الأجانب
الدائرين على مقاهيها
بفوهاتِ السلاح..

Adunis: Mirror for the Twentieth Century (From Arabic)

Mirror For The Twentieth Century
By Adunis
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

A coffin clad with a child's face
A book 
Written in a crow's guts
A beast coming out, carrying a flower

A rock
Breathing in a lunatic's lungs

     This is it
     This is the Twentieth Century.

The Original:


مرآةٌ للقرن العشرين
ادونيس

تابوتٌ يُلبَسُ وجْهَ الطفل
كِتابْ
يُكتَبُ في أحشاءِ غُرابْ
وَحْشٌ يتَقَدَّم، يحمل زهرهْ

صَخْرَهْ
تتنفّسُ في رئتيْ مجنونْ: 

         هو ذا
         هو ذا القرن العشرونْ.



Avot Yeshurun: In The City Of The Judges (From Hebrew)

In The City of the Judges
Avot Yeshurun
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Fragrant is my father's talis,
Sheathes me like a talisman.
The spirit of Elder Israel is
In the talis of taʿal-ismaʿ.

Mighty is my father's talis
Set loose on me who cannot hear.
For fear the Kaʿba's hallows
Drown my brow on stone. For fear.

My father my fear
Lay your hand upon my neck and hear....

I found a ram's horn yesterday.
Far in the south His deserts lie.
Judge, you in Jerusalem,
Whether the horn's neck was not I...

I found a ram's horn yesterday.
The horn for me? Beneath my star?
Judge, you in Jerusalem,
Whether I found my true shofar.

The Original:


בְּעִיר הַשּׁוֹפְטִים

רֵיחָנִית טַלִּית אַבָּא

קְרוּמָה עָלַי כְּמִין טַלִּיסְמָא.

וְרוּחַ יִשְׂרָאֵל סָבָא

בְּטַלִּיתוֹ שֶׁל כָּל “תַּעַל אִשְׂמַע!


אַדִּירִים טַלִּית אַבָּא,

פְּרוּעָה עָלַי, מִי לֹא שׁוֹמֵעַ.

פֶּן אֲנִי לַכַּעְבֶּה,

פֶּן אֲנִי מִצְחִי טוֹבֵעַ…


אַבָּא מוֹרְאִי,

שְׁלַח יָדְךָ לְצַוָּארִי…


תְּמוֹל מָצָאתִי קֶרֶן אַיִל,

הַרְחֵק בַּנֶּגֶב מִדְבָּרוֹ.

שִׁפְטוּ אַתֶּם בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם,

אִם לֹא הָיִיתִי צַוָּארוֹ…


תְּמוֹל מָצָאתִי קֶרֶן אַיִל,

אוּלַי הַקֶּרֶן עֲבוּרִי.

שִׁפְטוּ אַתֶּם בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם

אִם לֹא מָצָאתִי שׁוֹפָרִי.

Natan Alterman: Moon (From Hebrew)

Moon
Nathan Alterman
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Even an old landscape has a moment of its birth.
The strange, impregnable 
And birdless skies. 
Under your window, moonlit on the earth,
Your city bathes in cricket-cries.

But when you see the path still looks afar
To wanderers, and the moon
Rests on a cypress spear,
You ask in wonder "Lord! Are all of these still here?
Can I not ask in whispers how they are?"

The waters look at us from their lagoons.
The tree in red of earrings 
Stays a silent tree.
Never, my God, shall Thy huge playthings' sorrow 
Be rooted out of me.

The Original:

יָרֵחַ
נתן אלתרמן

גַּם לְמַרְאֶה נוֹשָׁן יֵשׁ רֶגַע שֶׁל הֻלֶּדֶת.
שָׁמַיִם בְּלִי צִפּוֹר
זָרִים וּמְבֻצָּרִים.
בַּלַּיְלָה הַסָּהוּר מוּל חַלּוֹנְךָ עוֹמֶדֶת
עִיר טְבוּלָה בִּבְכִי הַצִּרְצָרִים.

וּבִרְאוֹתְךָ כִּי דֶּרֶךְ עוֹד צוֹפָה אֶל הֵלֶךְ
וְהַיָּרֵחַ
עַל כִּידוֹן הַבְּרוֹשׁ
אַתָּה אוֹמֵר- אֵלִי, הַעוֹד יֶשְׁנָם כָּל אֵלֶּה?
הַעוֹד מֻתָּר בְּלַחַשׁ בִּשְׁלוֹמָם לִדְרֹשׁ?

מֵאַגְמֵיהֶם הַמַּיִם נִבָּטִים אֵלֵינוּ.
שׁוֹקֵט הָעֵץ
בְּאֹדֶם עֲגִילִים.
לָעַד לֹא תֵעָקֵר מִמֶּנִּי, אֱלֹהֵינוּ,
תּוּגַת צַעֲצוּעֶיךָ הַגְּדוֹלִים.

Tuvia Rübner: Spring in the World (From Hebrew)

Spring in the World
Tuvia Rübner
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

The flowers are big, as if
You could live inside their fold.
The clouds are clear in blue,
As if the heart were consoled.

Butterflies burst out, as if
They'd never seen real light shine.
My body with yours, as if nothing
Divided your blood from mine.

Birds in flame, as if
The full sky were at last unfurled.
Laugh-buds bloom, as if
There were spring in the world.

The Original:

אָבִיב בָּעוֹלָם
טוביה ריבנר

הַפְּרָחִים גְּדוֹלִים, כְּאִלּוּ
אֶפְשָׁר לָגוּר בְּתוֹכָם,
עֲנָנִים שְׁקוּפִים בַּתְּכֵלֶת,
כְּאִלּוּ הַלֵּב רֻחַם,

פַּרְפָּרִים מִתְפָּרצִים, כְּאִלּוּ
לֹא רָאוּ אֶת הָאוֹר מֵעוֹדָם,
גּוּפִי עִם גּוּפֵך, כְּאִלּוּ
אֵין גְּבוּל בֵּין דָּם לְדָם,

לַהֲבוֹת צִפֳּרים, כְּאִלּוּ
הַשַׁחַק לְבַסּוֹף נִשְׁלַם, 
צִיצֵי צְחוֹקִים, כְּאִלּוּ
אָבִיב בָּעוֹלָם. 

Jacob Fichman: "Midnight" (From Hebrew)

Midnight
Jacob Fichman
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

The sign will come. A wakened heart shall see,
Beneath each canopy, a hand of flame.
But we heed not the voice we hear. It came
To warn in vain. In vain, the prophecy.

The dreamwhacked morning sings its sorrows over. 
Day hides, tight-lipped, embosomed by its sun.
Only the midnight lightning rips each cover
And spirits break out in a thunder-run.

Confounded heart, do not sink back in light
Visions that nurtured you. It's time to keep
A meeting with the shadows. Not to sleep.

Prize the abyss. Gauge all its depths tonight.
Suck all its terrors to intoxication. 
Then will it gape its mouth to sing creation.

The Original:

חֲצוֹת

יעקב פיכמן


הָאוֹת יֻתַּן, וְלֵב נֵעוֹר יִרְאֶה

כַּף אֵשׁ שְׁלוּחָה מִתַּחַת כָּל חֻפָּה.

אַךְ קַלֵּי-דָם נִקְשַׁב לְקוֹל מַתְרֶה.

וְשָׁוְא הִזְהִיר הַקּוֹל. וְשָׁוְא נִבָּא. 


הַבֹּקֶר נְכָאָיו יַרְנִין הוֹזֶה,

וְיוֹם צְמוּד-פֶּה אֶל חֵיק שִׁמְשׁוֹ נֶחְבָּא;

רַק בּרַק חֲצוֹת יִקְרַע אֶת כָּל מִכְסה;

וְכַת רוּחוֹת נִנְעֶרֶת מֵאָרְבָּהּ.


הוֹי, לֵב נִדְהָם, אַל נָא תָּשׁוּב תִּשְׁקַע

בְּחֶזְיוֹנוֹת טִפְּחוּךָ: עֵת קַדֵּם

אֶת הַצְּלָלִים. וְאֵין לְהֵרָדֵם. 


וְאֶת הַתְּהוֹם חוֹנֵן. מֹד כָּל עָמְקָהּ.

מֹץ כָּל אֵימֶיהָ עַד לְשִׁכָּרוֹן–

אוֹ אָז תִּפְתַּח אָת פּיהָ וְתָרֹן. 

Zackary Sholem Berger: No (from Yiddish)

No
By Zackary Sholem Berger 
Translated by A.Z. Foreman 

No their death will not revive the dead.
No their hunger is not our bread.
More tears from them just make more tears.
Blood is red. Is red.

The beheaded child. The floating skull...¹
The child under rubble. Lived hardly at all.
Snuffed breath of Jew and Gentile will not blow
Anyone's grief away. No.

I sit and write. One letter. At a time.
Despair is nothing. Live? Maybe. Or die...²
No their destruction has not built one shred.
Dead is dead.

Notes:

¹Literally the skull on the water, a reference to the story of Hillel from Pirkei Avot: "He as well saw a skull floating on the surface of the water and he said to it: Because you drowned others they drowned you; and those that drowned you will in the end be drowned."

²— In the original this line reads literally "Despair is nothing. Shall I live? Shall I die?" the last two sentences are in Hebrew, and the whole effect of the sentence puzzled me till I asked the poet about it and he told me he had Psalm 118:17 in mind. At which point with a "no duh" directed at myself, it made sense to me. Still it's hard to make work in English.


The Original:

נישט 
שלום בערגער

נישט זייער טויט וועט מחייה זײַן די טויטע.
נישט זייער הונגער איז אונדזער ברויט.
מערן זייערע טרערן וועט נאָר טרערן מערן.
בלוט איז רויט. איז רויט.

דער שאַרבן אויפֿן וואַסער. דאָס קינד געקעפּט---
דאָס קינד אונטער חורבֿות. האָט קוים געלעבט.
דער געכאַפּטער אָטעם פֿון ייִד און גוי
לופֿטערט נישט קיינעמס נויט. 

איך זיץ און שרײַב, אות נאָך אות
ייאוש איז גאָרנישט, אחיה? אמות?
נישט זייער צעשטערונג האָט אויפֿגעבויט.
טויט איז טויט.

Faez Omran: Remembrance (From Arabic)

Remembrance
Faez Omran
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Jerusalem!
I shall polish your walls into a mirror guesting my desires
For I have seen your pine empowered over the heart's resin.

I shall polish your walls as my pent dreams gush from my brow.
I will see new blood bestowed on ancient veins.

And all through sunrise, in a topaz I will stow
The light beaming from your bullet holes.

The Original:

تذكّر
فائز عُمران

ألا ايُها القُدس!
سأصقل جدرانك لتكون مرآةً تَبيتُ فيها أشواقي
فلقد رأيتُ صنوبرَكِ يتسلّطُ على نسغِ القلب

سأصقل جدرانك وأحلامي المحصورة تنبع من جبهتي
سوف أرى دماً جديداً يوهبُ لعروق قديمة

وطوال شروق شمسِك سأخزّنُ في توباز
الضياء اللامع من ثقوب رصاصك.

Saïd Akl: Phoenician Creation (From French)

Phoenician Creating
By Said Akl
Translated by A.Z. Foreman


What is creating? Greeks dared not

Trade for that gold. Hearing so fine

That an Olypian's divine

Fingers can moore the Mystery knot.


As we Phoenicians split the sea

We split the sky and signed a pact

To catch the in-flagrante act

Between Naught and its contrary. 


Deciphering offer, offering,

Offerer, as if spelling it,

These quicker grains of the alphabet,

Like riddles, yield us everything.


Chalice, do not be bitter. Whence

El, god of gods, must try out some

Thing from afar. The offering's come

From overseas: a flower of sense. 


From Otherworld, then. From the great

Naught. God, his hand in naught, gives wonder.

Let this idea-dawn now thunder

Then comes the daring word Create.   


The works of God themselves unveil

To us, so free and so well-wrought,

That leaping right to deed from thought

He is our trireme under sail.


The Original:


Le Créer Phénicien 

Par Saïd Akl


Créer! Qu’est-ce? Les Grecs n’osèrent

S’en offrir l’or. Ouïr si fin

Qu’un Olympien, doigts divins,

Puisse l’amarrer, le Mystère.


Nous Phéniciens, fendant mer,

Fendîmes ciel, signant le pacte

De prendre en flagrant délit l’acte,

Entre le Rien et son revers.


Et déchiffrant offrir, offrande

Offrant, comme les épelant,

Ces beaux grains d’alphabet moins lents,

À nous les énigmes se rendent.


Calice, ne t’avère amer.

El, dieu des dieux, doit entreprendre

De loin, tel d’outre. D’outre-mer

Est l’offrir. Ô fleur de comprendre!


D’outre-univers donc. Dès le Rien!

Oui, la main dans le Rien, Dieu donne.

Que cette idée-aurore tonne,

Et, s’osant, le mot créer vient.


Le faire de Dieu se dévoile

À nous, si libres, si parfaits,

Qu’en sautant de pensée à fait,

Il est à nous trirème à voile




Abū Salīk Gurgānī: Life Advice (From Persian)

Life Advice
Abū Salīk Gurgānī
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Better to shed your own blood on the ground
Than shed your self-respect on a court's floor. 
Better to worship idols than a man.
That is my teaching. Heed it and endure. 

The Original:

خونِ خْوَد‌را گَر بِریٰزی بر زَمین بِهْ کِه آبِ روٰیْ ریٰزی دَر کَنار

بُت‌پَرَسْتَنْدَه بِه اَز مَردُم‌پَرَست پَنْد گِیر و کار بَنْد و گوٰش دار

xūn-i xwadrā gar birēzī bar zamīn
bih ki āb-i rōy rēzī dar kanār
butparastanda bih az mardumparast
pand gīr u kār band u gōš dār

Rudaki: "Everything's Right" (From Persian)

"Everything's Right"
By Rōdakī
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
 
Everything's right as it should be. It is
A festive time. So yes: feast with them too.
Why drag out your anxieties and fears?
Destiny's state will do what it must do.
Scheming like some Vizier won't turn out well.
The hands of fate will not be turned askew.
Life's wheel cannot create your substitute.
Your mother will not bear another you.
God will not shut a door on you without
Another hundred opening. Go through.

The Original:

كار همه راست، آنچُنان كه بِبايد        حالتِ شاديست، شاد باشى، شايد

اندُه و انديشه را دراز چه دارى؟        دولتِ تو خود همان كند كه بپايد

راىِ وزيران ترا به كار نَيايد،           هرچه صوابست، بخت خود فرمايد

چرخ نَيار بديلِ تو زِ خلايق         وان كه ترا زاد نيز چون تو نَزايد

ايزد هرگز درى نبندد بر تو          تا صد ديگر به بهترى نگشايد

Omar Khayyam: The Skull of Kay Kawos (From Persian)

The Skull of King Kawos
Omar Khayyam
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

I saw a bird perched on the walls of Tōs
Before it lay the skull of King Kāwōs,
And to that skull it cried "Poor king! Poor thing!
Your rolling drums and bells, where now are those?"

The Original:

مرغى ديدم نشسته بر بارهٔ طوس 

در پيش نهاده كلهٔ كى كاووس

با كله همى‌گفت كه افسوس افسوس

كو بانگ جرس‌ها و چه شد نالهٔ كوس

Murɣē dīdam nišasta bar bāra-i tōs
dar pēš nihāda kalla-i kay kāwōs
bā kalla hamē guft ki afsōs afsōs 
kō bāng-i jarashā u či šud nāla-i kōs 

Rudaki: Ode to Nasr bin Ahmad (From Persian)

Ode to Nasr bin Ahmad
By Rudaki
Translated from Persian by A.Z. Foreman

....They knew that the king intended to stay there for that summer also. Then the army's captains and royal nobles went to Abu Abdillah Rudaki, the most honored man in the king's inner circle, who had his ear more than anyone else. They said to him "we will give you five thousand dinars if you can find a way to get the king to move on from here. We are really missing our wives and children, and we're so homesick for Bukhara, it's well-nigh killing us." Rudaki agreed. Since he'd taken the Amir's pulse and understood his state of mind, he realized that prose would not move him, so he opted for verse and composed an ode. When the Amir had taken his morning drink, Rudaki came in and sat down in his place. When the musicians were done, he took up the harp. Playing in Amorosi Minor, he began this poem...
      (From Nizāmī Arūzī's "Four Discourses")

Rolling Moliyan's aromas blow our way
       Memories of friends that love us flow our way.
Where the grit and gravel of the Oxus runs
       Silken soft beneath our feet, we'll go our way.
Thrilled to greet a friend, Jayhun's waves jump their banks
       Half-way up our horses' flanks to show our way.
Here's to you Bukhara and your king. Cheer up!
       He'll return in cheer again. We know our way.
Bright Bukhara is the sky. Our king its moon.
       Soon the moon will move back home to glow our way.
Green Bukhara is a garden. He, its tree,
       He's a cypress bound for home to grow our way.


The Original:


دانستند که سر آن دارد که این تابستان نیز آنجا باشد. پس سران لشکر و مهتران ملک به نزدیک استاد ابو عبدالله الرودکی رفتند و از ندماء پادشاه هیچ کس محتشم‌تر و مقبول القول‌تر از او نبود. گفتند:پنج هزار دینار تو را خدمت کنیم اگر صنعتی بکنی که پادشاه از این خاک حرکت کند که دلهای ما آرزوی ديدن زن و فرزند همی‌برد و جان ما از اشتیاق بخارا همی برآید. رودگی قبول کرد که نبض امیر بگرفته بود و مزاج او بشناخته. دانست که به نثر با او در نگیرد روی به نظم آورد و قصیده‌ای بگفت و به وقتی که امیر صبوح کرده بود درآمد و به جای خویش بنشست و چون مطربان فرو داشتند او چنگ برگرفت و پردهٔ عشاق بنواخت و این قصیده آغاز کرد:

بوى جوى موليان آيذ همى      ياذ يار مهربان آيذ همى
ريگِ آموى و درشتيهاى او        زيرِ پايم پرنيان آيذ همى
آبِ جيحون از نشاطِ روىِ دوست      خنگ مارا تا ميان آيذ همى
اى بخارا شاذ باش و دير زى       ميز زى تو شاذمان آيذ همى
مير ماه است و بخارا آسمان       ماه سوىِ آسمان آيذ همى
مير سرو است و بخارا بوستان       سرو سوىِ بوستان آيذ همى 

Saadi: Golestan 8.12 (From Persian)

From the Golestan: Chapter 8, Section 12
By Saadi of Shiraz
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Have no mercy an enemy for his powerlessness. If he were powerful, he would have none on you.

      Faced with a helpless enemy,
      Don't brag that you're a gentleman.
      In every body's bone, there's marrow.
      In every shirt, there is a man.

The Original:

بر عجز دشمن رحمت مکن که اگر قادر شود بر تو نبخشاید.

دشمن چو بینی ناتوان
لاف از بروت خود مزن
مغزیست در هر استخوان
مردیست در هر پیرهن

Zulfiya Atoi: Daughter's Song (From Tajik)

Daughter's Song
By Zulfiya Atoi
Translated by A.Z. Foreman 

At my name, life began. It was the key
To opening the lock on goodness' door.
At my name, hands reached out and gripped the stars.
My every hair brought miracles galore.

At my name, Farhad dug into the mountain
And threw himself down from it, and was dead.
At my name, Qays became loveshot Majnun,
Preferring deserts to the world he shed.

Scattering laughter I return as spring.
Now come the poets' whining elegies. 
They say I am unkind, that I steal hearts.
But I am kind as a musk-wafting breeze.

The Original:

Сурӯди Духтар
Зулфия Атоӣ

Зиндагӣ бо номи ман оғоз шуд
Қулфи дарҳои накӯӣ боз шуд
Дастҳо бо номи ман ахтар гирифт,
Ҳар сари мӯ соҳиби эъҷоз шуд.

Кӯҳро бо номи ман Фарҳод канд,
Бандҳои қуллааш аз ҳам фиканд.
Қайс ҳам бо номи ман Маҷнун бишуд,
Аз ҷаҳон омад биёбонаш писанд.

Чун баҳорон гаштаам ман хандарез,
Бандбанди шоирон шуд нолахез.
Дилбари номеҳрубонам гуфтаанд,
Меҳрубонам чун насими мушкбез!

In Perso-Arabic script:

سرود دختر
زلفيه عطائى

زندگی با نام من آغاز شد

قفل درهای نکویی باز شد

دست‌ها با نام من اختر گرفت

هر سر مو صاحب اعجاز شد


کوه را با نام من فرهاد کَند

بندهای قله‌اش از هم فکند

قیس هم با نام من مجنون بشد

از جهان آمد بیابانش پسند


چون بهاران گشته‌ام من خنده‌ریز

بندبند شاعران شد ناله‌خیز

دلبر نامهربانم گفته‌اند

مهربانم چون نسیم مشک‌بیز!

Hafiz: Ghazal 220 "Aspirations" (From Persian)

Ghazal 220 "Aspirations" 
By Hafiz
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Although our city preacher won't 
like hearing it from me, 
  He'll never be a Muslim with 
  this much hypocrisy. 
Learn to get drunk, be a gentleman 
not a dumb animal 
  That cannot drink a drop of wine  
  or be a man at all.  
The essence must be unalloyed 
to make His grace our own, 
  Or from our clay no pearls will come
  nor coral come from stone.  
The Almighty shall fulfill His will. 
Rejoice, my heart! No con 
  Or devilry can turn a demon 
  into a Solomon.  
Mine is the noble art of love.  
I hope against belief  
  This craft won't bring, as others brought,  
  despondency and grief.  
Last night he said "Tomorrow I  
will grant your heart's desire"  
  God let him have no change of heart
  nor let him be a liar.
May God add a good heart to all  
your physical attraction  
  So you'll no longer torment me 
  with harrowing distraction.
Hafiz! Unless a mote of dust  
aspires to mighty height,  
  It is not drawn to the true fount
  from which the sun draws light.


Prose paraphrase:

(1) Though the city preacher won't find it easy to hear these words, as long as he practices sophistry and hypocrisy, he'll never be a real Muslim. (2) Train yourself in dissolute drunkenness, and be a gentleman to others. For not so artful is the beast that does not drink wine, or become human. (3) There must be a pure-gemmed essence in order to be a vessel for holy grace, for without it stone and clay will not become pearl and coral. (4) He of the Greatest Name does his work - be glad O heart, for by no trick or fraud can a devil ever become Solomon. (5) I practice love, and hope that this noble art will not, as other arts have done, cause me chagrin. (6)  Last night he was saying "Tomorrow I will give you your heart's desire." Oh God, contrive to keep him from having compunction about doing so! (7) For my own sake I pray God include in your beauty a good disposition, so that my mind is no longer distraught and discombobulated. (8) So long as the dustmote lacks lofty aspiration and drive, Hafiz, it is not in quest for the source that is the resplendent sun's own dayspring.   

Notes:

Verse 1: The word for hypocrisy, sālūs is identical to one of the words for the Christian trinity (though they are spelled differently in Perso-Arabic script.) Hypocrisy, for Hafiz, is a cardinal sin against the divine, and this may be a punny way of equating it with the dilution of monotheism, as the triune God of Christianity was, and indeed still is, generally seen by Muslims as a sketchy traducement of God's essential oneness. I myself get the sense that such punctilios as the dubious nature of the trinity (as well as all the things that you have to do or think to be a "true" Muslim) might have been precisely the sort of thing a pietistic preacher would rant about from the pulpit. The real sin isn't the Christian's sālūs (trinity) that would offend the preacher, but rather the preacher's own sālūs (hypocrisy) that offends Hafiz. Thus the preacher who might rant about what makes a proper Muslim is himself failing to measure up.          

Verse 3: See Qur'an [55:19-22]

Verse 7:  Many recensions of this poem have husn-i xulqē zi Xudā mētalabam xōy-i turā "I seek of God a fine disposition for your character", which does not make overmuch sense as xulq and xōy are more or less synonyms. Khanlārī prefers the variant ending in husn-i turā "to your beauty" which seems much more compelling to me. This version makes it clear that the speaker is asking for the beloved to be as good in heart as he is good to look at, for if so he will satisfy the lover's desire rather than making him yearn tormentedly. It also adds a nice bit of wordplay. For ḥusn-i xulq is also a technical term for "virtue of character" in a religious and ethical sense. Hafiz, though, is enjoining the beloved to keep his word and do something which, however pleasurable, is rather at odds with what the jurist would deem virtuous.       


The Original:


گر چه بر واعظ شهر این سخن آسان نشود تا ریا ورزد و سالوس مسلمان نشود
رندی آموز و کرم کن که نه چندان هنر است حیوانی که ننوشد می و انسان نشود
گوهر پاک بباید که شود قابل فیض ور نه هر سنگ و گلی لوءلوء و مرجان نشود
اسم اعظم بکند کار خود ای دل خوش باش که به تلبیس و حیل دیو سليمان نشود
عشق می‌ورزم و امید که این فن شریف چون هنرهای دگر موجب حرمان نشود
دوش می‌گفت که فردا بدهم کام دلت سببی ساز خدایا که پشیمان نشود
حسن خلقی ز خدا می‌طلبم حسن ترا تا دگر خاطر ما از تو پریشان نشود
ذره را تا نبود همت عالی حافظ
طالب چشمه خورشید درخشان نشود

Romanization:

Gar či bar wā'iz-i šahr īn suxan āsān našawad
Tā riā warzad u sālūs musalmān našawad
Rindī āmōz u karam kun ki na čandān hunarast
Hayawānē ki nanōšad may u insān našawad
Gawhar-i pāk bibāyad, ki šawad qābil-i fayz,
War na har sang u gilē lu'lu' u marjān našawad.
Ism-i a'zam bukunad kār-i xwad ay dil, xwaš bāš
Ki ba talbīs u hayal dēw Sulaymān našawad
'Išq mēwarzam u ummēd ki īn fann-i šarīf
Čūn hunarhā-i digar mawjib-i hirmān našawad
Dōš mēguft ki fardā bidiham kām-i dilat
Sababē sāz Xudāyā ki pašēmān našawad
Husn-i xulqē zi Xudā mētalabam husn-i turā
Tā digar xātar-i mā az tu parēšān našawad
Zurrarā tā nabuwad himmat-i 'ālī hāfiz
Tālib-i čašma-i xwaršēd-i duruxšān našawad

Тоҷикӣ:

Гарчи бар воизи шаҳр ин сухан осон нашавад, 
То риё варзаду солус, мусулмон нашавад. 
Риндӣ омӯзу карам кун, ки на чандон ҳунар аст, 
Ҳаявоне, ки нанӯшад маю инсон нашавад. 
Гавҳари пок бибояд, ки шавад қобили файз, 
Варна ҳар сангу гиле лӯълӯву марҷон нашавад. 
Исми аъзам бикунад кори худ, эй дил, хуш бош 
Ки ба талбису ҳиял дев Сулаймон нашавад. 
Ишқ меварзаму уммед, ки ин фанни шариф, 
Чун ҳунарҳои дигар мӯҷиби хирмон нашавад. 
Дӯш мегуфт, ки фардо бидиҳам коми дилат, 
Сабабе соз, Худоё, ки пашемон нашавад. 
Ҳусни хулқе зи Худо металабам ҳусни туро, 
То дигар хотири мо аз ту парешон нашавад. 
Зарраро то набувад ҳиммати олӣ, Ҳофиз, 
Толиби чашмаи хуршеди дурахшон нашавад. 

Pangur Bán (from Old Irish)

The poem translated here is of anonymous authorship, in that the author's name is unknown. But he was an Irish monk operating at or near Reichenau Abbey in what is today Germany in the 9th century. The poem is found in his notebook. The meter of the original is a loose seven-syllable deibide with the featural rhymes typical of Old Irish, in the alternating rinn/ardrinn style in which a stressed syllable is rhymed with an unstressed one. I have rendered it in English with seven-syllable trochaic tetrameter and mostly using full rhymes, which may be a bit sing-songy or clip-cloppy, but seems to fit the tone of the poem rather well. Compare this with my translation of Creide's lament where I used a syllabic approach to vary the rhythm a great deal more, and also used rhymes that — in English — would be judged imperfect but fit the featural criteria for what counts as a rhyme in Irish. 

Pangur Bán 
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Me and Pangur Bán at work:
He the cat, and I the clerk.
He is hunting mice to nip,
I am at my scholarship.

Fame's for fools. I'd rather rest
Studying my book with zest.
Happy for me, Pangur Bán
Plies his child-play all he can.

It's our never-boring tale.
We two, home alone, can't fail
To find everlasting sport
On which to fixate our art.

After berserk battle he
Nets a mouse in victory.
Me, I net a hard, dark line
Till I make its meaning shine.

His bright penetrating eye
Points toward the wall. While I 
Set my far less piercing sight
On a point more recondite.

He exults, getting a raw
Mouse impaled upon his claw.
When a dear yet difficult
Problem yields, I too exult.

That's us, ever at our art.
None bugging his counterpart, 
Each making a craft his own
To rejoice in it alone. 

Crafty Pangur, cat of prey,
Plies his trade by night and day.
I do monk's work, day and night,
Solving, bringing dark to light.


The Original:

Messe ocus Pangur Bán,
cechtar nathar fria saindán;
bíth a menma-sam fri seilgg,
mu menma céin im saincheirdd

Caraim-se fos, ferr cach clú,
oc mu lebrán léir ingnu;
ní foirmtech frimm Pangur bán,
caraid cesin a maccdán.

Ó ru·biam — scél cen scís —
innar tegdais ar n-óendís,
táithiunn — díchríchide clius —
ní fris tarddam ar n-áthius.

Gnáth-húaraib ar gressaib gal
glenaid luch inna lín-sam;
os mé, du·fuit im lín chéin
dliged n-doraid cu n-dronchéill.

Fúachid-sem fri frega fál
a rosc anglése comlán;
fúachimm chéin fri fégi fis
mu rosc réil, cesu imdis,

Fáelid-sem cu n-déne dul
hi·n-glen luch inna gérchrub;
hi·tucu cheist n-doraid n-dil,
os mé chene am fáelid.

Cía beimmi amin nach ré,
ní·derban cách ar chéle.
Maith la cechtar nár a dán,
subaigthius a óenurán.

Hé fesin as choimsid dáu
in muid du·n-gní cach óenláu;
du thabairt doraid du glé
for mu mud céin am messe.

Lament of Créide for Dínertach (From Old Irish)

This poem preserved in the West Munster cycle. According to the prose preface there, Dínertach had come to fi ght for Guaire of Gort in 649 and was killed in battle, and the poem was made by Guaire's daughter Créd who had fallen for him. This does not make overmuch sense, as the poem is more intelligible if it is Guaire's wife who is speaking. The language of the poem, as reconstructed from a later copy, puts it in the late 9th century, hundreds of years after the events that supposedly occasioned it. It gives me the impression of having been originally an independent work that was eventually sutured into a prose narrative.

Créide's Lament for Dínertach (ca. 9th century)
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

These sleep-slaughtering arrows strike
Every hour in cold of night:
Pangs for time spent after dark
With the man from Roigne's march.

Mad love for an outlander
Who outstripped his every peer
Has stripped my bloom, bleached my cheek,
And will now not let me sleep.

He spoke sweeter than men sing
Save those hymning heaven's king:
My great flame who spoke no bluff,
My sleek, tender-sided love.

As a girl I was modest,
Had no truck with lust or tryst.
Now in my uncertain age
Wantonness plays its charades.

Here I've got every good thing
With Gúaire, cold Aidne's king.
But the mind will out afar
From my folk to Irluachar.

Here they sing round Cell Colmán
In grand Aidne of that man
From past Limerick's grave-track,
The great flame named Dínertach.

Christ! It mutilates my heart
How they killed him in the dark.
These sleep-slaughtering arrows strike
Every hour in cold of night.

The Original:

It é saigte gona súain,
cech thrátha i n-aidchi adúair,
serccoí, lia gnása, íar n-dé,
fir a tóeb thíre Roigne.

Rográd fir ala thíre
ro-síacht sech a chomdíne
ruc mo lí (ní lór do dath);
ním-léci do thindabrad.

Binniu laídib a labrad
acht Ríg nime nóebadrad:
án bréo cen bréthir m-braise,
céle tana tóebthaise.

Imsa naídiu robsa náir:
ní bínn fri dúla dodáil;
ó do-lod i n-inderb n-aís
rom-gab mo théte togaís.

Táthum cech maith la Gúaire,
la ríg n-Aidni adúaire;
tocair mo menma óm thúathaib
isin íath i n-Irlúachair.

Canair a i n-íath Aidni áin,
im thóebu Cille Colmáin,
án bréo des Luimnech lechtach
díanid comainm Dínertach. 

Cráidid mo chride cainech,
a Chríst cáid, a ̇foraided:
it é saigte gona súain
cech thrátha i n-aidchi adúair.

Baudelaire: The Enemy (From French)

The Enemy
By Charles Baudelaire
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

My youth was but a dark-aired hurricane,
Pierced by an eye of sun from time to time;
So ravaged was my world by bolts and rain
That in my garden few red fruits still climb.

Now at the autumn of the mind I stand,
And here I am to toil with rake and spade

If I am to renew this flooded land
Of grave-sized holes the burrowing rains have made.

And who knows if my dream-grown flowers shall reach
Beneath this soil now scrubbed into a beach
And taste the mystic foods that heal their parts?

Agony. Agony! Time eats our lives
As the dark Enemy that gnaws our hearts
Grows bloated with the blood we lose, and thrives. 


The Original:

L'Ennemi

Ma jeunesse ne fut qu'un ténébreux orage,
Traversé çà et là par de brillants soleils;
Le tonnerre et la pluie ont fait un tel ravage,
Qu'il reste en mon jardin bien peu de fruits vermeils.

Voilà que j'ai touché l'automne des idées,
Et qu'il faut employer la pelle et les râteaux
Pour rassembler à neuf les terres inondées,
Où l'eau creuse des trous grands comme des tombeaux.

Et qui sait si les fleurs nouvelles que je rêve
Trouveront dans ce sol lavé comme une grève
Le mystique aliment qui ferait leur vigueur?

— Ô douleur! ô douleur! Le Temps mange la vie,
Et l'obscur Ennemi qui nous ronge le coeur
Du sang que nous perdons croît et se fortifie!

Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff: Forest Conversation (From German)

Forest Conversation
Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

It's late and cold. The light is gone.
So why ride through these woods alone?
The woods are vast. I'll be your guide
And help you home, you pretty bride."

"Great are men's lies and trickery.
They broke my heart in agony.
The hunter's bugle echoes round.
Oh flee. You don't know whom you've found."

Lady and horse, richly adorned.
Young body, marvelously formed.
I know you now. Dear God on high!
You are that witch, the Lorelei.

"Know me indeed! That tower is mine 
That looks out deep into the Rhine.
It's late and cold. The light is gone.
Your life outside these woods is done."

Me reading this poem:
The Original:

Waldgespräch
Joseph Karl Benedikt, Freiherr von Eichendorff
 
Es ist schon spät, es wird schon kalt,
Was reit'st du einsam durch den Wald?
Der Wald ist lang, du bist allein,
Du schöne Braut! Ich führ' dich heim!

"Groß ist der Männer Trug und List,
Vor Schmerz mein Herz gebrochen ist,
Wohl irrt das Waldhorn her und hin,
O flieh! Du weißt nicht, wer ich bin."

So reich geschmückt ist Roß und Weib,
So wunderschön der junge Leib,
Jetzt kenn' ich dich - Gott steh' mir bei!
Du bist die Hexe Lorelei. -

"Du kennst mich wohl - von hohem Stein
Schaut still mein Schloß tief in den Rhein.
Es ist schon spät, es wird schon kalt,
Kommst nimmermehr aus diesem Wald."