Treasure Island

Nizar Qabbani

(1923 - 1998 / Damascus / Syria)

Clarification To My Poetry-Readers


And of me say the fools:
I entered the lodges of women
And never left.
And they call for my hanging,
Because about the matters of my beloved
I, poetry, compose.
I never traded
Like others
In Hashish.
I never stole.
I never killed.
I, in broad day, have loved.
Have I sinned?

And of me say the fools:
With my poetry
I violated the sky’s commands.
Said who
Love is
The honor-ravager of the sky?
The sky is my intimate.
It cries if I cry,
Laughs if I laugh
And its stars
Greatens their brilliance
If
One day I fall in love.
What so
If in the name of my beloved I chant,
And like a chestnut tree
In every capital I, her, plant.

Fondness will remain my calling,
Like all prophets.
And infancy, innocence
And purity.
I will write of my beloved’s matters
Till I melt her golden hair
In the sky’s gold.
I am,
And I hope I change not,
A child
Scribbling on the stars’ walls
The way he pleases,
Till the worth of love
In my homeland
Matches that of the air,
And to love dreamers I become
A diction-ary,
And over their lips I become
An A
And a B.

Submitted: Monday, March 22, 2010

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