Fingerprints

by Abdellatif La‚bi

If we could write
simply by placing
fingerprints
on a page
it would relieve
the pain we endure
trying to be original
at any price

The literal translation of this poem was made by Andre Naffis-Sahely

The final translated version of the poem is by The Poetry Translation Workshop

Notes

Translating this tiny poem involved much thought and discussion. We struggled for some time with the title: in the original French, it's 'Prints' not 'Fingerprints' (though that word crops up in the third line). But 'prints' in English has far wider connotations than in French. So we stuck with 'Fingerprints'.

Most of our efforts centred on trying to make our final version sound as 'light' and colloquial as the original - as close to ordinary speech in English. Do let us know how you think we got on!

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