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Selected Poem: Omdurman Comes On The Eight O’clock Train

Selected Poem: Omdurman Comes On The Eight O’clock Train

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Sudanese poet Kamal Aljizouli (1947- ) has written more than four collections of poetry. Many of his poems have been translated into English, Russian and Ukrainian.
In Omdurman Comes on the Eight O’clock Train, Kamal Aljzouli tackles a blend of lore and sacrifice as a theme for his wonderful poem. Omdurman is the symbol to serve this purpose with all its magnetic sphere of tribal gathering. Jizouli has an insight and can see the truthiness and the inward aspects of what he sees. Here he idealizes his hometown Omdurman as a symbol of
love and patriotism. Still he has some personal moments to write.

The rain pours down!
Washing the asphalt, the hedges,
The garden,
The adjourning roofs
You and I love
And the bridge; and the trees
O bleeding rain, o rain
By lord, pour on my dry eyes
And tell us the tale of traveling
Of coming and going in the singing of caravan
The rain pours down unceasingly.
The winds wash the sea
The trees bathe in the rain and you and I, love
Are washed by love and the sudden joy
Penetrating deep into our veins, to giddiness.
O unexpected overwhelming joy!
I sacrifice myself instead of yours
And will sell you all I possess:
The hoarseness of my ancient voice, my bow
And my only string
For your tidal waves to carry me
Flooded, turned, awhile,
And cast on the bosom of daylight
Like the starting signal
Clattering in the history of my nation
Stirring fires from home to another
O sun of the circuit!
If you perceive through the mail seals
And you our yearning, O sun of the circuit!
To glowing warmth from far away,
You will know O sun of circuit!
The secret of the sufferings and the loving and the throbbing
And the sigh in the sound of letters.
”Omdurman comes on the eight o’clock train!”
“Thank you Sir!”
And I walked along, chewed by the pavement
How could I expect you O grief of the heavy heart!
How could I expect you! You have ever been
Glowing in my nation,
Echoing, growing loftily,
“To the mountain encampments!”
And you…rising upright as a bridge
“And ropes from Shambat gardens”
I alone, shedding tears,
“By the side of Khartoum!”
And I have been in the sweating
Of the lute, kneaded from the sweating
Of the free forehead,
From the du’ash and the autumn festivals!
How could I expect thee O grief of the heavy heart!
“Omdurman comes on the eight o’clock train!”
“Thank you Sir!”
My love is in my heart. Her face never disappeared
Nor the bleeding dried.
SOURCE: Al-Sir Khidir's book (Modern Sudanese Poetry: Anthology and Appraisal).

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