When my friend Clemencia and I visited the ARK Gallery in South Ealing about two months ago, my friend Yousif Naser showed me this poem written by his friend Saadi Youssef. I was fascinated by the look of it and read it out loud, not knowing the effect it had on me. I wonder what would happen if a man had read it out loud.
Reading this poem caused the same kind of reaction, an eruption of tears, when I read a poem almost 10 years ago "A False Step" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Can anyone find that poem and e-mail me please?
Woman - a poem
Written by the famous Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef, this poem ignited a torrent of emotions in me. The following version is translated from Arabic.
How will I drag my feet to her now?
In which land will I see her
and on which street of what city
should I ask about her?
And if I find her house
(let's suppose I do)
will I ring the bell?
How should I answer back?
And how will I stare at her face
as I touch the light wine
seeping between her fingers.
How should I say hello...
and how will I take the pain of all these years?
twenty years ago
in an air-conditioned train
I kissed her all night through...
------ by Saadi Youssef, 8 Sept 1984
27 August 2003 Wednesday
If thou must love me, let it be for nought ..... by Elizabeth Barrett Browning