Arabic Language Blog

To my mother Posted by on Oct 13, 2017 in Arabic Language, Culture

In my previous post, I wrote the story of the poem “To my Mother”, originally “A Poem of Apology” by Mahmoud Darwish, and in this post, I present the translation of the poem and the song with English subtitles.

أحن إلى خبز أمي

وقهوة أمي

ولمسة أمي

وتكبر في الطفولة

يوماً على صدر يومِ

وأعشق عمري لأني

إذا متُّ، أخجل من دمع أمي !

خذيني، إذا عدتُ يوماً

وشاحاً لهدبك

وغطّي عظامي بعشب

تعمَّد من طهر كعبكِ

وشُدِّي وثاقي ..

بخصلة شعرٍ

بخيطٍ يلوِّح في ذيل ثوبكِ ..

ضعيني، إذا ما رجعت

وقوداً بتنور نارك ..

وحبل غسيلٍ على سطح داركِ

لأني فقدت الوقوف

بدون صلاة نهاركِ

هرمت، فردِّي نجوم الطفولة

حتى أشارك

صغار العصافير

درب الرجوع .. لعشِّ إنتظاركِ !


To My Mother
By Mahmoud Darwish
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Dearly I yearn for my mother’s bread,
My mother’s coffee,
Mother’s brushing touch.
Childhood is raised in me,
Day upon day in me.
And I so cherish life
Because if I died
My mother’s tears would shame me.

Set me, if I return one day,
As a shawl on your eyelashes, let your hand
Spread grass out over my bones,
Christened by your immaculate footsteps
As on holy land.
Fasten us with a lock of hair,
With thread strung from the back of your dress.
I could grow into godhood
Commend my spirit into godhood
If I but touch your heart’s deep breadth.

Set me, if ever I return,
In your oven as fuel to help you cook,
On your roof as a clothesline stretched in your hands.
Weak without your daily prayers,
I can no longer stand.

I am old
Give me back the stars of childhood
That I may chart the homeward quest
Back with the migrant birds,
Back to your awaiting nest.

Translation source:

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