by Kajal Ahmad
According to the latest classification, Kurds
now belong to a species of bird
which is why, across the torn, yellowing pages
of history, they are nomads spotted by their caravans.
Yes, Kurds are birds! And even when
there's nowhere left, no refuge for their pain,
they turn to the illusion of travelling
between the warm and the cold climes
of their homeland. So naturally,
I don't think it strange that Kurds can fly.
They go from country to country
and still never realise their dreams of settling,
of forming a colony. They build no nests
and not even on their final landing
do they visit Mewlana to enquire of his health,
or bow down to the dust in the gentle wind, like Nali.*
The literal translation of this poem was made by Choman Hardi
The final translated version of the poem is by Mimi Khalvati
* Refers to a famous line from Nali, 17th century poet:
I sacrifice myself to your dust - you gentle wind!
Messenger familiar with all of Sharazoor!
© Poetry Translation Centre 2004-2013