Badr Shakir al-Sayyab
The River and The Death
Buwaib , Oh Buwaib ,
Bells of a lighthouse lost at the bottom of the sea ,
Water is in the pots , and the sunset in the trees ,
The pots ooze bells of rain ,
Their crystal melts away in wailing .
Buwaib , Oh Buwaib !
Sympathy for you , Buwaib darkens in my blood ,
Sad like rain , O my river ,
I wish I could run in the darkness ,
Tightening my both fists to carry ,
In each finger , a year of yearning ,
As if I were carrying votive offerings ,
Of wheat and roses .
I wish I could approach from the hills beds ,
To glance the moon ,
Wading between your banks ,
Planting shadows and filling the baskets ,
With water , fish and roses .
I wish I could wade you , to follow the moon ,
And hear the pebbles rattle in the bottom ,
The rattling of thousands of sparrows on the trees .
Are you a wood of tears or a river ?
And will the fish sleep at dawn ?
And will these stars stay waiting ,
To feed with silk thousands of needles ?
And you , Buwaib , how I wish I could sink into you ,
To pick up oyster shells to build a house out of them ,
To enlighten with it the verdancy of water and trees ,
Of what the stars and the moon ooze ,
To reach the sea in you with the ebb ,
For death is a strange world ,
That enchants the young ,
And its hidden door was with you , Buwaib .
Buwaib , O Buwaib .
Twenty years have gone , every year is like ages ,
And today , when darkness overcast ,
To stay up sleepless in bed ,
And to delicate the conscience up to the daylight ,
Like a tree with delicate branches , birds and fruits .
I feel the blood , the tears as the rain ,
Ooze by the sad world .
Bells of the dead are shaking in my veins ,
To darken sympathy in my blood ,
Sympathy for a bullet to cut open the depths of my heart ,
With its constrictive ice ,
To burn up the bones like the hell .
I wish I could run to support the strugglers ,
To tighten my both fists and slap the fate .
I wish I could drown in my blood to the bottom ,
To bear the burden with human beings ,
To infuse life . My death is then triumph .
Translated by : Jamil Azeez Mohammad
Badr Shakir al-Sayyab's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The River and The Death by Badr Shakir al-Sayyab )
- God's Kind of Poetry: My Well of Wellness, tolu ogundare
- Locution, location!, Edward Kofi Louis
- Scotland: My Love Renewed, Paul Gerard Reed
- Rosalinda, Edward Kofi Louis
- Losing Your Temper, Edward Kofi Louis
- Testing Memories, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- To Watch My Steps, Edward Kofi Louis
- Must Not Withdraw, Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti
- To blow the scent of flowers of friendsh.., Dr.V.K. Kanniappan
- Badagry, Edward Kofi Louis
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Footsteps of Angels, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- Farewell, Anne Brontë
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- If, Rudyard Kipling
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)