Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Other barbarians will come along - Mahmoud Darwish

Other barbarians will come along.
The emperor’s wife will be abducted.
Drums will roll.
Drums will roll and horses will trample a sea of corpses
all the way from the Ægean to the Dardanelles.
And why should we care?
What on earth have our wives got to do with horse races?

The emperor’s wife will be abducted.
Drums will roll.
And other barbarians will come along.
The barbarians will take over abandoned cities,
settling in just above sea-level,
mightier than the sword in an age of anarchy.
And why should we care?
What have our children got to do with the progeny of the rabble?

Drums will roll.
And other barbarians will come along.
The emperor’s wife will be abducted from the palace.
From the palace a military campaign will be launched
to restore the bride to the emperor’s bed.
And why should we care?
What have fifty-thousand corpses got to do with this hasty marriage?

Will Homer be born again?
Will myths ever feature the masses?

Mahmoud Darwish (1941 - 2008) Palestine
Translated by Sarah Maguire with Sabry Hafez

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