Omar Shabanah – Sonatas for Departed Rashida…

Omar Shabanah LEP&W Sept-Oct V1 2022

Download PDF Here Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume One Sept-October 2022. 

Sonatas for Departed Rashida…My Mother, poem by Omar Shabanah.

Translated from Arabic by Lama Sakhnini.


Sonatas for Departed Rashida…My Mother

From the book of her memories, from her old and new notebooks.

1
O mother, mother of all people

she is our mother
She is the mother of all people,
all immortals,
of the fedayeen
and the martyrs,
mother of the prophets
And mother of all believers
Rightly and humbly

2
O mother of the forests

Oh mother of days
And rivers,
a mixture of a fable and a legend,
walking on two legs
of pain and music
of water and fire

3
I see you in “Al Arroub

in the night of the camp
in farms and fields,
In mosques and sanctums
In the chants of the fedayeen
You are an assemblage of children and prayers,
Your mother is Liqa, she is a queen of her own kind
and your father is a martyr of the land of God,
preaching struggle and salvation,
With a peasant’s dagger…

4
She knows what she needs

as a garden
Her colors are dull
mighty in her weakness
weak in her firmness
She knows what she needs
She needs what she knows
With no obvious question
Her lucidity is her questions

5
My mother is the homeland

My mother
Have bid us farewell
she entrusted us
with wild thyme wishes,
And the thirsty Kubbayza
And palm trees in the camp
Our faithful refuge
she bid farewell
With her wounds, with her laments
by the leanness of the phoenix of life,
And the enchanting mother’s soul

She bid farewell by her singing
a distant land
by the meekness of the torn bird
in the age’s nets
tumbles without feathers

She bid farewell to a legend
to live with others
in a thousand epic
With a thousand mantle and a tale,
to live in our dreams,
And stay in the dreams of her homeland
And we dream without fear,
And we move on, in the same tale,
From the beginnings/visions,
To the new ends of the homeland

A mother is, the homeland that
As we walk, it carries us to it,
to its end, its temptation,
And we carry it to its dreams

A mother with an infinite dream
Lives

there you are
You remember childhood
Of all the girls’ games,
I know you are the first
Among games and girls,

I feel your pain
I’m still alive
And life became torment

6
A mother with dreams

before the beginning of the Torah
the Bible and the Qur’an,
The country’s dreams are her secret book
She writes what you like every day
from his old notebooks,
in the book:
the steadfastness of her village with the revolutionaries,
In it are her siege and her downfalls

Her book is her secret Qur’an.
The morning Qur’an, and the night of the scars’ Qur’an
And her book is a house and a field
In the hills of “Manshiah” and its “Iraq

Ooh mother
O My mother
O Mother of Christ,
You gave birth to me to be the redeemer of men,
However, they all betrayed and deceived

Should I mourn you
Or should I mourn my steps
following your own steps

O daughter of the Qur’an of life
Your life is the Qur’an
in my permissible blood,
My blood is readings for your soul

I cry for you in poetry
No… not to cry
but to sketch
a picture of history
in your palms
in the prayers of your heart

In the field of your soul
You oh Rashida
Prayers used to start with you,
In prayers I existed
I see a country in your (Thiab)
in the almond fields
Blooming in your youth,
in the range
My eyes drink
From your own waters

1. The name of the camp in which the poet’s mother lived after the 1948 misfortune
2. Liqa is the poet’s grandmother name
3. Iraq Al-Manshiah, is the village where the poet’s Mother lived
4. Rashida (the name of the poet’s mother) which means in Arabic the wise one
5. Thoub (and plural Thiab) is the traditional Palestinian dress.


© Omar Shabanah

Shabanah was born in Amman in 1958, to parents of Palestinian origin. He studied Arabic literature at the Jordanian University and started working in journalism in 1983. He has published seven collections of poetry. He has written numerous literary articles and critiques. He is a member of the Jordanian Writer’s Association and the Union of Arab Writers

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