Mahmoud Darwish: To My Mother (From Arabic)

To My Mother
By Mahmoud Darwish
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click to hear me recite the original Arabic
Click to hear me recite the translation in English

Dearly I yearn for my mother's bread,
My mother's coffee,
Mother's brushing touch.
Childhood is raised in me,
Day upon day in me.
And I so cherish life
Because if I died
My mother's tears would shame me.

Set me, if I return one day,
As a shawl on your eyelashes, let your hand
Spread grass out over my bones,
Christened by your immaculate footsteps
As on holy land.
Fasten us with a lock of hair,
With thread strung from the back of your dress.
I could grow into godhood
Commend my spirit into godhood
If I but touch your heart's deep breadth.

Set me, if ever I return,
In your oven as fuel to help you cook,
On your roof as a clothesline stretched in your hands.
Weak without your daily prayers,
I can no longer stand.

I am old
Give me back the stars of childhood
That I may chart the homeward quest
Back with the migrant birds,
Back to your awaiting nest.





The Original

الى امي
محمود درويش

أحنُ إلى خبز أمي
وقهوةِ أمي
ولمسةِ أمي ..

وتكبر فيَّ الطفولةُ
يوماً على صدر يومِ
و أعشق عمري لأني
إذا متُّ
أخجل من دمع أمي !

خذيني .. إذا عدتُ يوماً
وشاحاً لهدبكْ
وغطي عظامي بعشبٍ
تعمَّد من طهر كعبكْ
وشدِّي وثاقي..
بخصلة شعرٍ ..
بخيطٍ يلوِّح في ذيل ثوبك..
عساني أصيرُ إلهًا
إلهًا أصير ..
إذا ما لمستُ قرارة قلبك !

ضعيني إذا مارجعتُ
وقودا بتنور ناركْ
وحبل غسيل على سطح داركْ
لأني فقدت الوقوف
بدون صلاةِ نهاركْ

هرمتُ فردّي نجوم الطفولة
حتى اشاركْ
صغار العصافير ..
درب الرجوع ..
لعُشِّ إنتظارك

3 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the thoughtful translation, great work!

    ReplyDelete
  2. nice i love it

    ReplyDelete
  3. this is a really weird translation, check all the other translations. There's a huge difference.

    ReplyDelete

There was an error in this gadget