Selected Poem: Don Quixote (Al Nour Osman Abbakar)06 September, 2020
KHARTOUM (Sudanow) – Sudanese Poet Al Nour Osman Abbakar "1938 - 2009" played an important role in the Sudanese cultural movement. He was one of the founders of The Forest and Sahara school, a group of prominent writers of the 1960s sought to solve the question of the Sudan’s cultural identity.
Al Nour migrated to Germany after his graduation from the University of Khartoum in 1962 where he studied German literature in its classical origins and read the existential literature of the period. This period influenced deeply his thought and literary orientation. The effects of this influence appeared in his collections of poems.
Al Nour had lived in Doha, Qatar, since 1980 where he worked as a translator and editing manager in Doha magazine 1980-1986 and then he joined the Amiri Diwan of the State of Qatar as a translator and journalist until his death in 2009.
Following is one of his poems:
Burdened by night of comedy and tragedy
And you are as illuminating as dawn,
As birth, as action,
As invincible, as consciousness awaken
I stopped and my words halted the horse
The echo of your painting apparent
The door is a crack in the plains of night
And a spring in the Sahara of woe.
As I have been beguiling the guards,
I spread out my magic garment
Learnt out against the staff of my thought,
Against my arm
My contrivances feigned asleep.
Not even a sonorous voice did I utter
Nor a sweet one.
I dreamt that the night’s river
Churned, boiled, shimmered
And broadened, granting me my lifetime,
And that I sold my rags
And that your love was forgotten
I screamed awoke,
Feeble with the collapse of the dream
I betray everything, Satan even,
And never shed a tear
Nor prayed in my niches, disturbed.
Yet light grows a falsehood
If the sin of my inclination to you
Has attached to my comedy.
The signs of that to come,
Yet never pass-out of action and dreams
Purifying the wetness of the wound.
I behold an Oryx,
And a crowd.
Lo! This is you and the bridge, waiting.
Your dress shouts in the winds.
Your breast resilient, your steps a riddle
And between your vision and the guards
Lay our forbidden lifetime
I knelt down, screamed appealing for help.
Your hearing is a rock in the wind,
For I don’t believe in intoxicating happiness in death
Nor does my soul desire to depart,
And if I choose between the aching wound
And dying in words,
I would return favours to the cup-raiser.
I stopped and my words bridled the horse
At your door.
Guess, I am shivering in the wind
And my horsemanship has gone
And my mind preserved in vision.
For whom should I long?
To whom should I kneel down?
And suffer the grief of the way?
On whom should words fall in love?
Your expanse, O my town, in awakeness;
Your marriage, present in consciousness,
Your love is my greatest fortress
And you are my everlasting love
*** The poem was translated from Arabic by Al Sir Khidir in his book "Modern Sudanese Poetry (Anthology and Appraisal)".
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