Exhortation to the Village (8)

Tomorrow the straitened wars
In darkness, suddenly,
the crates of fruit terrify

After two streets of grief
I know
and treacherous paths toward the lord

I know water before it is sullied,
cheapened by carefree mammals everyday

Piece by piece
I know despair in the form of a goat
I know the leavings of a homeless dove
before the horizon has had its fill

You believe in the sea
We preserve the story in salt
I believe in the sun and a split head
in wearing camouflage at a time of peace

In the caress of your hand, a soprano,
an aerial quivering on the roof of the village

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Comments (2)

Michael Farrell

I think in reading this poem, despite my limited knowledge, I have a sense of reading Atief’s writing. I like the crates of fruit and carefree mammals ..
i think ‘We preserve the story in salt’ might be different? it feels like there are too many instances of ‘the’ in this stanza ..


Really glad I could be involved in the translation of this poem, which I found exceptional. The debates about almost every word (!) really clarified the meaning of the poem for me.

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