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Badr Shakir al-Sayyab

(1926-1964)

The Chillness And The Hissing Sound Of Fire


The chillness and the hissing sound of fire
And the ashes of the sandy stove.
I sat alone beside the stove abstracted.
The train of my thoughts absorbs the occasion.
But the night would gnaw my soul.
The ferry would trot close to my home.
The lightnings would send their flashes to uncover the distant land.
Again, it would scatter it by its thundery storms.
It would disperse it as the smoke of this grieved steamboat.
To be scattered inside a wretched cemetery blows the scourges.
It spreads the multiple types of death and the groans of dead men.

O, night, the journey is too long and hard.
And the travelers were exhausted to the last breath.
And my country still surrounds with confusion.
While my narrators slept on deep sleep.
I slept the night hungry could not find something to eat.
I slept the night thirsty although the water is close to me.
On the other hand, my heart still does not quench yet.
Nothing will quench my thirst only the thundering lightnings.
O, the boughs of night that donates fruits, please give me.
Then I can fill my basket and return to feed my babies.
Let them eat of your blessings and tickling in rejoice.
Saying pa, pa you are the honest…
O, lightning:
Would you go away?
The road will darken and the traveler could not guess its end.
The chillness and the hissing of fire
And the ashes of the sandy stove.
I sat alone beside the stove abstracted.
The train of my thoughts absorbs the occasion.
But the night would gnaw my soul.

Submitted: Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, September 11, 2013

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Translated by: Mohammad Mahmud Ahmad

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