Saturday, 22 February 2014

أعرف أنك في عمري ضيف الفرح العابر

أحبك وحتى هذه اللحظة
                                   لا يزال حبنا ناصعاً 
                              كثلج فوق قمة لم تطأها قدم 
                                .. أحبك واشتعل سعادة 
                                    لانك لاتزال معي ..
                                وأعرف ان عمر الوفاء 
                     كعمر قصور الرمال على شاطئ بحر هائج .. 
                     وأعرف انك في عمري ضيف الفرح العابر 
                               لكنني في هذه اللحظة احبك 
                               بكل ما في جسدي من طاقة 

غادة السمان

I love you and up until this moment
Our love is still fresh
Like untrammelled snow on a mountaintop
I love you and I burn with happiness...
...because you are still with me.
I know that the life of loyalty
Is like the life of sandcastles on the shore of a rough sea
I know that you are a guest passing joyously through my life**
But in this moment I love you
With all the power in my body.

 - Ghada al-Samman (source)

**I can't come up with a good way to translate this line.

N.B. I do not love anyone romantically and this is not in reference to anyone.  I just liked the sentiment and the language.  Most loves don't last forever, or don't always stay the same.

I don't know when this poem was written or who al-Samman might have been referring to.  Her lover Ghassan Kanafani was killed by a car bomb in Beirut in 1972 - after their affair ended, as far as I know - but the poem is sadder when read with that knowledge.  Ghada al-Samman published his love letters to her twenty years later.  I obtained a copy of the book recently and keep meaning to read it but other things have to come first.  But they're two of my favourite writers in Arabic, and two of the first I read.  

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