The Train Passed by

Mahmoud Darwish

Quickly, the train passed by.
I had been waiting
On the sidewalk
Travelers were rushing to their
Daily lives.... and I
Continued to wait

From afar, violins cry,
So  I am carried
By the edges of a cloud that

The yearning for things obscure
Becomes distant and imminent.
Forgetfulness does not push me away.
Memory does not  bring me closer
To a woman
Who if caressed by the moon
Would scream:  I am the moon.

Quickly, the train passed by
My time, on the sidewalk
Did not belong to me.
The hour was different
What time is it now?
What day separated yesterday from
When the gypsies migrated?

Here, I was born yet cannot give birth.
This train
Then, will complete my stubborn birth,
while the rees surround me

Here, I was found yet cannot find
In this train I will stumble
Upon my soul filled with
Two banks of a river that died
Like a young man dies.
“If only the boy was a rock”

Quickly the train passed by
Passed by me and I am
Like the station, not knowing whether
To bid farewell or greet the people:
Above my sidewalk,
A welcome
A coffee shop
Music and a
Rhyme for
Another Poet who will come and wait.

Quickly, the train passed by
Passed by me
And I am still waiting.

From Mahmoud Darwish’s latest collection, “Why Did You Abandon The Horse” (Riyad Naguib El Rayess, 1995)

Translated, from the Arabic, by Nezar Andary

This poem appeared in Al Jadid, Vol. 4, No. 23, Spring 1998.

Copyright (c) 1998 by Al Jadid

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