KAMAL NASSER'S LAST POEM
The following is a new translation of Kamal Nasser's last poem. It will appear in a new anthology of Palestinian poetry, The Palestinian Wedding, translated by Dr. Abdelwahab Elmesseri and illustrated by Kamal Boullatta.
As, alone, you fondle my only child,
Eagerly awaiting my return, Shed no tears in sorrow for me For in my homeland
Life is degradation and wounds And in my ears the call of danger rings.
Beloved, if word of my death reaches you
And the mourners cry out:
The loyal one has departed, his visage gone forever,
And fragrance has died within the bosom of the flower
Shed no tears... smile on life
And tell-my only one, my loved one,
The dark recesses of your father's being
Have been touched by visions of his people.
Splintered thoughts bestowed his path
As he witnessed the wounds of oppression.
In revolt, he set himself a goal
He became a martyr, sublimated his being, even changed his prayers
Deepened their features and improvised,
And in the long struggle, his blood flowed
His lofty vision unfolded, shaking even destiny
If news reaches you, and friends come to you,
Their eyes filled with cautious concern, Smile at them in kindness for
my death will bring life to all;
My spring has spilled into autumn... but spring remains.
My people's dreams are my shrine At which I pray, for which I live. The ecstasy of creation warms my being, shouting of joy,
Filling me with love, as day follows day,
Enveloping my struggling soul and body.
Immortalized am I in the hearts of friends
I live only in others' thoughts and memories.
Beloved, if word reaches you and you fear for me
Should you shudder and your cheeks grow pale
As pale as the face of the moon, Allow it not to look upon you, nor feast on the beauty of your gaze For / am jealous of the light of the moon.
Tell my only one, for I love him, That I have tasted the joy of giving and my heart relishes the wounds of sacrifice.
There is nothing left for him
Save the sighs from my song... Save the remnants of my lute
Lying piled and scattered in our house.
Tell my only one, if he ever visits my grave and yearns for the memory,
Tell him that one day l shall return - to pick the fruits.
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Originally published by The Palestine Liberation Organisation Unified Information as a bi-monthly information bulletin with copy permission granted via the notice "Partial or total reproduction is freely permitted by 'Palestine Bulletin'"
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