Selected Poem: Parting

Selected Poem: Parting

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - The following poem has been written by the renowned Sudanese poet Fidaili Jama’a. Jama’a rose to fame when he won, among others, a national youth poetry award during the 1970s. He has published three books of poetry. Jama’a currently lives in London.


Is it time to leave, my love,

While the tornado’s shadow fall around me

And the cloak of catastrophe shrouds the space

Between the stars and me?

To whom do you go? My love, as all these

Calamities befall me?

Birds on wing bid me adieu

While I rub the sleep from my eyes

And walk on thorns and embers

Don’t deny me your company

If you have ever been an impossible glint in my eye;

Or if you could be a glimpse like the lightning of the upland

I would shake this grief from my brow

You are all the reasons I am ruined

Swashed like shattered splinters

You are all my wishes

All my childhood longings wishes which

Cool like perfume on my brow

Since the beginning of creation you have been

My desire and destiny, my callous killer


The water and the burning ember and the secret

Relationship between the dew and the branches!

How I ache to hold you in my arms!

But even the space and the wind laugh at me!

I stretch out my hand so I might run my fingers through

The curls of your head but I hold back,

And withdraw a handful of wind and shiver of expectation

Yet even in the face of such defeat,

I proclaim I love you to distraction

I love you in the glare of morning and in the murky darkness

And I proclaim that without you

I am a number with no meaning and identity:

My eyes shed tears whenever I dreamt

Of our impossible meeting before you leave me again

And I shouted out in ecstasy


My killer woman uses tricks of love that can

Bridge the gap between me and the impossible!

The endless wandering of life and seasons left her

Exhausted, and my love follows where my mistress goes

Ordering me to move on!

I cross through legends and the present moment,

Making a string of my mother’s tears

I see you as a gentle spirit, embracing me for a while

And slipping through my fingers and eyeballs


Don’t depart to the mirage sea or become cheerful,

Triumphant, without me

Your love blew high as a strong wind a wind

I drank like a flowing drop

Your love spills over as sea of sweet lyrics

O light, pouring through my soul,

O fire of ice, flooding my eyelids

I have roamed through banners and tenderness

Through thunder and eyes

Through the stations of the sadness of orphans

And madness

I adore you to distraction

It is time to leave me

Besieged by winds?

Is it time to leave me?

And the birds on the wing

Bid me adieu

While I rub the sleep from my eyes?


Be with me

I long for your nearness to grow twice in a glimpse

And to shout jubilantly:

Take me to the bosom of folktales

To pleasant evenings

You are my motherland

My blood and eyes

Take me away from this sad world

If I miss you

I shall vault over

The door of delectation without me






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