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Home Page > English Wichaar > International Literature > El-Sayyab wrote Song of the Rain while in exile in Kuwait. He had a major influence on #Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish

El-Sayyab wrote Song of the Rain while in exile in Kuwait. He had a major influence on #Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish

El-Sayyab

March 21st, 2011

 

 

Your eyes are two palm tree forests in early light,
                  Or two balconies from which the moonlight recedes
                  When they smile, your eyes, the vines put forth their eaves,
                  And lights dance ..  like moons in a river
                  Rippled by the blade of an oar at break of day;
                  As if stars were throbbing in the depths of them . . .

                  And they drown in a mist of sorrow translucent
                  Like the sea stroked by the hand of nightfall;
                  The warmth of winter is in it, and the shudder of autumn,
                  And death and birth, darkness and light;
                  A sobbing flares up to tremble in my soul
                  And a savage elation embracing the sky,
                  Frenzy of a child frightened by the moon.

                  It is as if archways of mist drank the clouds
                  And drop by drop dissolved in the rain …
                  As if children snickered in the vineyard bowers,
                  The song of the rain rippled the silence of birds in the trees

                  Rain song
                  Drop,
                  Drop,
                  Drop, 

                  Evening yawned, from low clouds
                  Heavy tears are streaming still.
                  It is as if a child before sleep were rambling on
                  About his mother (a year ago he went to wake her, did not find
                  her;
                  Then when he kept on asking, he was told:
                  "After tomorrow, she'll come back again"
                  That she must come back again,
                  Yet his playmates whisper that she is there
                  In the hillside, sleeping her death for ever,
                  Eating the earth around her, drinking the rain;
                  As if a forlorn fisherman gathering nets
                  Cursed the waters and fate
                  And scattered a song at moonset,
                  Drip, drop, the rain
                  Drip, drop, the rain

                  Do you know what sorrow the rain can inspire?
                  And how gutters weep when it pours down?
                  Do you know how lost a solitary person feels in the rain?
                  Endless,- like spilt blood, like hungry people, like love,
                  like children,
                  like the dead,-
                  Endless the rain.

                  Your two eyes take me wandering with the rain,
                  Lightning's from across the Gulf sweep
                  The shores of Iraq
                  With stars and shells,
                  As if a dawn were about to break from them
                  But night pulls over them a coverlet of blood.
                  
                  I cry out to the Gulf: "O Gulf,
                  Giver of pearls, shells and death!"
                  And the echo replies, as if lamenting:
                  "O Gulf: Giver of shells and death".

                  I can almost hear Iraq husbanding the thunder,
                  Storing lightning in the mountains and plains,
                  So that if the seal were broken by men
                  The winds would leave in the valley not a trace of Thamud.
                  I can almost hear the palmtrees drinking the rain,
                  Hear the villages moaning and emigrants
                  With oar and sail fighting
                  The Gulf winds of storm and thunder, singing
                  Rain.. rain..rain (Drip, drop, the rain)

                  And there is hunger in Iraq,
                  The harvest time scatters the grain in-it,
                  That crows and locusts may gobble their fill,
                  Granaries and stones grind on and on,
                  Mills turn in the fields, with humans turning
                  Drip, drop, the rain
                  Drip, Drop, Drop

                  How many tears we shed when came the night for leaving
                  We made the rain an excuse, not wishing to be blamed
                  Drip, drop, the rain
                  Drip, drop, the rain
                  Since we had been children, the sky
                  Would be clouded in wintertime,
                  And down would pour the rain,
                  And every year when earth turned green the hunger struck us.
                  Not a year has passed without hunger in Iraq.
                  Rain
                  Drip, drop, the rain
                  Drip, drop

                  In every drop of rain
                  A red or yellow color buds from the seeds of flowers.
                  Every tear wept by the hungry and naked people
                  And every spilt drop of slaves' blood
                  Is a smile aimed at a new dawn,
                  A nipple turning rosy in an infant's lips
                  In the young world of tomorrow, bringer of life.
                  Drip.....
                  Drop.....
                  (the rain . . .In the rain)
                  Iraq will blossom one day

                  I cry out to the Gulf: "O Gulf:
                   Giver of pearls, shells and death!"
                  The echo replies as if lamenting:
                  'O Gulf: Giver of shells and death."

                  And across the sands from among its lavish gifts
                  The Gulf scatters fuming froth and shells
                  And the skeletons of miserable drowned emigrants
                  Who drank death forever
                  From the depths of the Gulf, from the ground of its silence,

                  And in Iraq a thousand serpents drink the nectar
                  From a flower the Euphrates has nourished with dew.
                  I hear the echo
                  Ringing in the Gulf:
                  Rain . . .
                  Drip, drop, the rain . . .
                  Drip, drop.

                  In every drop of rain
                  A red or yellow color buds from the seeds of flowers.
                  Every tear wept by the hungry and naked people
                  And every spilt drop of slaves' blood
                  Is a smile aimed at a new dawn,
                  A nipple turning rosy in an infant's lips
                  In the young world of tomorrow, bringer of life.

                  And still the rain pours down.

 

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