KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Abdul Rahim Abu Zikra (1943-1989) was one of the best known Sudanese poets. His high sensitivity and yearning for an ideal world was clearly reflected in his poetry collection “Night Departure”.
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 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, journalism and academic performance as a lecturer at the University of Khartoum.
His following poem was translated from Arabic by Bakhit Bakhit and Aron Aji:
THINGS THAT CANNOT BE SAID
If I drift from silence to silence
ashamed of my face, if my feet are unsteady,
it is because they said: bow your head,
keep it down, now, look down at your feet,
forget the sea, the mountains, the clouds,
forget the horizon.
I have grown accustomed to silence,
the shame, the shaky footsteps.
But my head grows heavier and heavier
And when you ask me to raise my head,
I can’t–each step is a trap,
each choice a minefield.
I hear the volcanoes’ deadly rumbling,
ash rains like bullets.
Who dares to hold up his head
beneath these thunderous volcanoes?
Source: M-DASH, a magazine of translation
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