Mis poemas

29 March 2013

Taha Muhammad Ali

Taha Muhammad Ali reads the poem Revenge in Arabic (min 1:25) and Peter Cole reads the translation of this poem into English:




VENGANZA

A veces… deseo
poder encontrarme en un duelo
con el hombre que asesinó a mi padre
y arrasó nuestro hogar
expulsándome
hacia un estrecho país.
Si me hubiera matado
hubiera descansado al fin,
y si hubiera estado preparado
¡habría llevado a cabo mi venganza!

Pero cuando apareció mi rival
y supe que tenía madre
que estaría esperándole
o un padre que se pondría
la mano derecha
sobre el pecho, en el lugar del corazón
cada vez que su hijo llegara tarde
aunque fuera un cuarto de hora
de la cita de una reunión
ya no le mataría entonces,
aunque pudiera.

De igual manera…
tampoco le asesinaría
si me enterara enseguida
de que tenía hermano o hermanas
que le amaban y que constantemente
anhelaban verle.
O si tuviera una esposa
para darle la bienvenida
y niños que
no podrían soportar su ausencia
y a quienes sus regalos emocionarían.
O si tuviera
amigos o compañeros
o vecinos conocidos
o aliados en la prisión
o en la habitación de un hospital
o compañeros de colegio…
preguntando por él
y enviándole sus saludos.

Pero si resultara
que es una persona en soledad
desgajada de todo
como la rama de un árbol
sin hermanos ni hermanas
sin esposa ni niños
y sin familiares ni vecinos ni amigos,
ni colegas ni compañeros,
Entonces, ¿para que añadir más dolor
a esa soledad?
Ni el tormento de la muerte
ni la pena del fallecimiento.
No, me limitaría
a ignorarle cuando pasara a su lado
por la calle, como
si estuviera convencido
de que no prestarle atención
era ya en sí un tipo de venganza.


REVENGE

At times ... I wish
I could meet in a duel
the man who killed my father
and razed our home,
expelling me
into a narrow country.
And if he killed me,
I'd rest at last
and if I were ready -
I would take my revenge!

But if it came to light,
when my rival appeared,
that he had a mother
waiting for him,
or a father who'd put
his right hand over
the heart's place in his chest
whenever his son was late
even by just a quarter-hour
for a meeting they'd set -
then I would not kill him,
even if I could.

Likewise ... I
would not murder him
if it were soon made clear
that he had a brother or sisters
who loved him and constantly longed to see him.
Or if he had a wife to greet him
and children who
couldn't bear his absence
and who his presents thrilled.

Or if he had
friends or companions,
neighbors he knew
or allies from prison
or a hospital room,
or classmates from his school...
asking about him
and sending him regards.

But if he turned
out to be on his own -
cut off like a branch from a tree -
without mother or father,
with neither a brother nor sister,
wifeless, without a child,
and without kin or neighbors or friends,
colleagues or companions,
then I'd add not a thing to his pain
within that aloneness -
nor the torment of death,
and not the sorrow of passing away.
Instead I'd be content
to ignore him when I passed him by
on the street - as I
convinced myself
that paying him no attention
in itself was a kind of revenge.

(Translated by Peter Cole, Yahya Hijazi, and Gabriel Levin).



Taha Muhammad Ali (Galilee, Palestina, 1931 – Nazareth 2011). Nacido en Saffuriya, un pueblo arrasado por los israelíes en 1948, huyó al Líbano a los 17 años y posteriormente se estableció en Nazaret. Escritor autodidacta, su poesía, cuyo motivo central es la ocupación israelí, goza de gran popularidad especialmente entre los árabes-israelíes y en los territorios ocupados. En sus versos directos y poderosos se mezcla el árabe clásico con formas coloquiales. Entre sus poemarios hay que mencionar: El cuarto y diez poemas adicionales (1983), Engañando a los criminales (1989), Nuevos poemas escogidos, 1971-2005 (2006).

Extraído de la Antología de los poetas palestinos de la resistencia (Tleo, 2010).


Taha Muhammad Ali (Galilee, Palestine, 1931 – Nazareth 2011). During the Arab-Israeli War in 1948 his village suffered from heavy bombing. His family was able to flee to Lebanon and a year later, Taha Muhammad Ali returned to Israel, where he settled in Nazareth and opened a souvenir shop. At this same time he devoted himself to literature. He taught himself classical Arabic as well as English and began writing poetry. The first of his four volumes of poetry was published rather late, when he was fiftytwo. His first book of stories was published in 2003. His poetry collection »Never Mind: Twenty Poems and a Story« (2000) is available in English. A major Palestinian poet, Taha Muhammad Ali is esteemed primarily for his plainspoken and quietly sophisticated poetry. His poems mainly concern personal memories juxtaposed~with political events. An important source of inspiration for his poetry and short stories is Saffuriya, his childhood village, a place inextricably bound to memories of life in that time and place. Simple people stand at the centre of Taha Muhammad Ali’s works. One of his most well-known poems is »Abd el-Hadi Fights a Superpower«, dating from 1973, where the eponymous protagonist is an ordinary man to whom the idea of revolt against injustice is remote. In »Post-Operative Complications Following the Extraction of Memory«, also written in 1973, the year of the Yom Kippur War, the speaker describes himself as »a camel fleeing the slaughterhouse«. His later poems are increasingly marked by longing, hope, and bittersweet reminiscence. Taha Muhammad Ali has a powerful style of writing, using structures based on classical Arabic poetry. However, he does not yield to embellishment in his diction, but tends towards simple words and images.



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