Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Elegy - Bewketu Seyoum

The fall of every leaf diminishes me,
so when I hear a rustle
I send my eyes out of the window
to look at the trees in the yard.

Alas! where there were woods,
I see flag-poles standing.
Men have swept nature’s nest away
to build their cities.

The melody of the nightingale
has lost its immortality
and I am sitting on a dead land,
writing an elegy in the sand.

Bewketu Seyoum (20th century) Ethiopia
Translated by Bewketu Seyoum with Chris Beckett and Alemu Tebeje Ayele
Source: The Missing Slate

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