Ahmad Shawqi

((1868–1932))

King Solomon and the Hoopoe


The hoopoe stood submissively at King Solomon's door
And said: Help me, my Lord, help
My life has become dull and uninteresting
I have choked on a grain of wheat
That has caused me an insatiable thirst
That can be slaked neither by the waters of the Nile River
Nor by those of the Tigris
And if it persists any longer
It will case me to die a violent death
The Supreme Master turned to those assembled around him, saying
The hoopoe has committed a sin
And did his evil act in utter meanness
It is the fire of evil burning in its chest
And this complaint is nothing but an excuse
I am certain that that grain of wheat
Was stolen from an ant's nest
Indeed a wrongdoer's chest
Will cause him pain
even without an obvious reason

Submitted: Saturday, September 07, 2013
Edited: Monday, September 09, 2013
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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Translation: Mahmoud Abbas Masoud

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