Thursday, 26 January 2017

Message from a Martyr - Mbarka Mint al-Barra’

Fire your bullets -- our hearts are already ablaze
       In this land, grief wells up from my distress
Fire your bullets -- you villain -- for I
       Won't play at murder or run away
My blood fertilises and refreshes this land
       And plants a promising generation that is fully conscious
Limbs grow from seeds of shrapnel
       Hands are formed and crowns spring
That bet this land will always be their home --
       In every corner they stand their ground
Wherever I am, this land is my passion
       Nostalgia is fused with this timeless love
I don't care if there are explosions
       I don't mind the annihilating thunder

Mbarka Mint al-Barra’ (born 1957) Mauritania
Translated by Joel Mitchell and The Poetry Translation Workshop
Source: The Poetry Translation Centre

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