Horizon

by Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi

You will always carry on working
for as long as the sun rises to flush the streets
of the treasonous night studded with treachery
riming the cobblestones and trash

You will always walk through the crowd absent-minded
head up
looking down on those who look down on you
with their perfidious smiles

Every day the same streets
you murmur/sing out your greetings
meeting everyone you've ever known
making songs with their steps
pinning their hopes to the walls[1]

You show them the secret of the day
and they do the rest
they leave until sunrise
clasping your gifts in their hands

The walls are worn with affection
girls' windowsills graced with apologies and songs
and on your mouth is a radiant smile
a longing to get home after work
before the sun rises again
before they come back from the horizon of martyrdom[2]

The literal translation of this poem was made by Sabry Hafez

The final translated version of the poem is by Sarah Maguire

Notes

This is very much a draft translation which no doubt will be significantly changed as a result of discussions in our workshop on 28th May.

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