Nizar Qabbani: At Zero (From Arabic)

One of the cooler Arabic poems to cross my desk of late

At Zero
By Nizar Qabbani
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click to hear me recite the Arabic

We have come to zero.
What'll I say? What'll you say?
The topics now are one and alike.
Back is front as front is back.
We have come to the apex of despair
Beneath the bullet of the sky
Where embraces are reprisals
And love-making is the aching of an eye for an eye.



The Original:



Romanization 

Noqṭato ṣ-ṣefr
Nezār Qabbāni

Waṣalnā elā noqṭate ṣ-ṣefr
māða aqulo wamāðā taqulina
kollo l-mawāḍiʕe ṣārat sawā'an
waṣāra l-warā'o amāman
waṣāra l-'amāmo warā'an
waṣalnā elā ðorwate l-ya's
ħayθo s-samā'o raṣāṣon
waħayθo l-ʕenāqo qeṣāṣon
waħayθo momārasato l-jense...aqsā jazā'                             
Arabic Script

نقطة الصفر
نزار قباني

وصلنا الى نقطة الصفر
ماذا اقول؟ وماذا تقولين؟
كل المواضيع صارت سواء
وصار الوراء اماماً
وصار الامام وراء
وصلنا الى ذروة اليأس
حيث السماء رصاص
وحيث العناق قصاص
وحيث ممارسة الجنس...اقسى جزاء

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