Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saadi Youssef poem: Elsinore, Hamlet's Castle

Elsinore, Hamlet's castle
The trench with green water
is criss-crossed by twigs and birds,
by the shoes of tourists
and the ghosts of shipwrecked sailors . . . 
I cross it too
feeling the moat's wooden boards,
soft, and water-logged.
Like blood within blood,
the castle resides within itself.
But now you will not caress a wooden board
or a stone, you will not enter history
to enjoy the paintings exhibited in the hall
while you listen to the
swashing sea.
Now you will withdraw into yourself
like a snail into its shell.
You will listen to footfalls in a distant night.
To stifled breath, to the staircase
rising toward the questions.
So,  then, beware!
Translated by Sargon Boulus. Reprinted from Banipal No 15/16.  With thanks to the Arabic Literature (in English Translation) blog.

ٍSee also Youssef's very long poem "Hamlet's Balcony" - شرفة هاملت - (in Arabic).

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