I was a word abandoned in an old battered book,
a word forgot by politics, by love and the speaking world.
The poets fled from me. All of my letters detested me,
deserting me for other words without once looking back.
Just like that I was alone, a ghost-word that lacked its letters,
lonely and only the terrible sound of the frenzied centuries
for company, only the sound of the slaves, of the dead,
of the arrows of time flying and flying and flying.
You (o my true love) came with your fierce mouth
and hands of ten desolate fingers and found me,
and so loudly then the whole world did shout me
The literal translation of this poem was made by Hamid Kabir
The final translated version of the poem is by Nick Laird
© Poetry Translation Centre 2004-2015