The Siege

By Mohammed al-Maghout


My tears turned blue
for staring at the sky so long
My eyes turned yellow
for dreaming of the golden wheat, so long
Let the generals go to wars
the lovers to the woods
the scientists to labs
But I...
shall search for a rosary
and a dusty chair
to resolve my old job:
a door-keeper at the gate of sorrow
as long as all books, constitutions
    and religions confirm,
I shall die either 
from hunger or in jail
Translated from the Arabic by the late Noel Abdulahad
This poem appeared in Al Jadid, Vol. 7, no. 37 (Fall 2001)

The late Mohammed al-Maghout was a prominent Syrian poet. The Arabic text of the poem was published in the Cairo-based Akhbar al-Adab.


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