KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Abdul Rahim Abu Zikra, the Sudanese poet, was known for his high sensitivity and yearning for an ideal world away from the harsh surrounding realities of life. This was clearly reflected in his poetry collection that carries the same name of this very poem “Night Departure” which Sudanow is publishing here. Born in 1943, Abu Zikra ended his own life when he jumped from a window out of the 13 floor of the Russian Sciences Academy, Moscow, in October 1989.
He graduated from the University of Khartoum, Faculty of Arts, Department of Russian language and Literature. He obtained his PhD in Russian language and literature, Antoine Chekov writings and translations in particular, in 1987. He was known to be highly talented in translation, literary writings and journalism.
He equally was known to have excelled in his academic performance, which was recognized by his Russian professors and at the University of Khartoum where he worked as lecturer.
You who are departing at night:
Lost and alone,
Yesterday, the early autumn visited me
Washed me with ice
And the flickering of the meadows.
You who are departing alone at night:
When I was visited by the early autumn.
My summer froze,
My forehead grew cold
My silence drifts over the wooden houses
Hiding its bewilderment in the branches of the tree;
In the running of the rivers
In retreat from sight.
The early autumn waved to me:
Waved to me, for an hour, as we passed away
Then the memories of an earlier winter returned
The wind unfurled my impatient sails
The sun of paradise shone on my solitary cloister
And the moistened sun embraced me
Hugging me as never before
Not as on the first time, the absent, departing time.
Wait for me.
I departed alone, penetrating deep into night
In the remote corridors, wait for me
In the deserts and on seas; wait for me
In the fluttering of wings
And the skies of the migrating birds,
When their traveled circuits sight
And yesterday’s sky blackens
*** The poem was translated from Arabic by Alsir Khidir.
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