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Poetry

Awaiting a Poem

By Hawa Gamodi
Translated from Arabic by Nariman Youssef
Hawa Gamodi's breathtaking poem asks what poetry can do in the face of bloodshed and destruction.

They await you:
The new poem

They await your downpour through my soul
My hands shaping your features

I stand with my heart agape
To observe this desolate world
As it falls into ruin

Blood covers everything

Prayers no longer know
Where to go

I await you
I listen for your cautious footfall

Yes
The world has become a graveyard
But the sun rises
The breeze caresses a girl’s cheek
The sea does not forsake its blue
The swallows tell me of my childhood
Hidden beneath their wings
And somewhere a boy foretastes a kiss from his lover’s lips

There’s so much love
Beauty
And light

That you may pour down
Fly
Walk barefoot

I am writing you
My resistance to the ruin

I paint a glorious world
Illuminated by a poem
That they await

© Hawa Gamodi. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2016 by Nariman Youssef. All rights reserved.

English

They await you:
The new poem

They await your downpour through my soul
My hands shaping your features

I stand with my heart agape
To observe this desolate world
As it falls into ruin

Blood covers everything

Prayers no longer know
Where to go

I await you
I listen for your cautious footfall

Yes
The world has become a graveyard
But the sun rises
The breeze caresses a girl’s cheek
The sea does not forsake its blue
The swallows tell me of my childhood
Hidden beneath their wings
And somewhere a boy foretastes a kiss from his lover’s lips

There’s so much love
Beauty
And light

That you may pour down
Fly
Walk barefoot

I am writing you
My resistance to the ruin

I paint a glorious world
Illuminated by a poem
That they await

© Hawa Gamodi. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2016 by Nariman Youssef. All rights reserved.

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