by Ali Salem Iselmu

If you ever come
to a wide, white land
dotted with towering black statues
crossed by the slow tracks of camels and Bedouin,
remember there exists a land with no master and no owner,
the mirror and the soul of all innocent people

The literal translation of this poem was made by Lucy Frankel and Antonio Martinez Arboleda

The final translated version of the poem is by Sarah Maguire


  1. March 30th, 2013 at 2:24 am

    Ba Kham Dao Cong says:

    So cool a poem. I love it. Thanks Ali

  2. May 15th, 2011 at 1:08 am

    Ma Sheng says:

    Thank you for this beautiful poem. Corto pero muy fuerte con imagenes vividas. Gracias por este poema muy linda. 

    @snono: I think the original poem is in Spanish, not in Arabic. I have to add the Spanish original is as artistic as the translation, if not more so. 

  3. June 20th, 2008 at 11:18 am

    snono says:

    given that a good translation depends on a good choice of words, i give a myriad of kudos to this English translation that has made a work of art out of a poem in Arabic.