Abdul-Wahhab Al-Bayati: Poem for the Man of Light (From Arabic)

Poem for the Man of Light
By Abdul-Wahhab Al-Bayati
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click here to hear me recite the Arabic

The man of light
Goes vagrant through my sleep at night
He stops in the abandoned corner
To extract words from my memory to write
And rewrite them aloud,
To blot lines out.
He looks into the mirror
Of the house sunken deep in the darklight.
He recollects something
And slinks from my sleep.
I wake in dread
And try to recollect some thing
Of what he wrote, of what was said,
In vain. For the light

Has erased the papers and my memory
With daybreak's deadman white.


The Original:

قصيدة لرجل النور
عبد الوهاب البياتي

يتجول في نومي رجل النور
يتوقف في الركن المهجور
يُخرج من ذاكرتي كلماتٍ
يكتبها
ويعيد كتابتها في صوت مسموع
يمحو بعض سطور
ينظر في مرآة البيت الغارق بالظلمة والنور
يتذكر شيئاً
فيغادر نومي
استيقظ مذعوراً
وأحاول أن أتذكر شيئاً
مما قال ومما هو مكتوب
عبثاً ، فالنور
مسح الأوراق وذاكرتي
ببياض الفجر المقتول .

Romanization:

Qaṣīdatun li-rajuli l-nūr

Yatajawwalu fī nawmī rajulu l-nūr
Yatawaqqafu fī l-rukni l-mahjūr
Yuxriju min ðākiratī kalimātin
Yaktubuhā
Wa-yuˁīdu kitābatahā fī ṣawtin masmūˁ
Yamħū baˁḍa suṭūr
Yanẓuru fī mir'āti l-bayti l-ɣāriqi bi-l-ẓulmati wa-l-nūr
Yataðakkaru šay'an
Fa-yuɣādiru nawmī
Astayqiẓu maðˁūran
Wa-'uħāwilu an ataðakkara šay'an
Mimmā qāla wa-mimmā huwa maktūb
ˁabaθan, fa-l-nūr
Masaħa l-awrāqa wa-ðākiratī
Bi-biyāḍi l-fajri l-maqtūl.

1 comment:

  1. Hallo Alex,
    the original here is missing one strophe, the last one you translated.
    Thanks anyway, and I wish you all my best. ch

    ReplyDelete

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