KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Following is another poem written by Mustafa Sanad (1939-2009), one of the great Sudanese poets. Mustafa Sanad’s poems as a whole are characterized by an undeniable powerful effect and poetic cohesion. His poetic images are vivid, his language is rich with ritual usage. For him beauty is an absolute, to which his heart aspires.
Sanad came to poetry and found it the true medium for his soul. His poetic genius had never faded away; never set on the pursuit of nothingness. His spirit was perpetually reaching out to faith and divine attachment:
I behold you on wintery night
Starring at me for a long, long time.
We were perplexed selling transfer to evenings
And listening, parts of your dialogue was a sword
Hung between the ringing of illusion and hopes
(Your grief disheartened us, your sadness is in us)
And something laughed loudly, dropped like tears
I almost touch the curiosity of the decoration under
The frame and touch these stubborn shades,
An infinites ocean, and my family is asleep
And your family is over the rhyme and the letters of the
Poem wandering palanquins, a challenge
And the waves on the sand on which clouds have never rained, and these miserly winds
An infinite ocean and I fill from you my vision
The waters dry and the last drop departs
Behind the rock, behind you through the sky, behind you amongst the clouds.
Why did I less you? How did your eyes acquaint us?
Why? Why? Won’t your love cease or should we kill it?
Your love was a revolt?
Winter’s apparition and the airport and an old night
O! It was an illusion, a defeat.
You left the road and went knocking and
Opening the suspicious doors
And when you passed, the sad evening appeared
Wrapping the eyes of the lilies in the palms of your hands
The candles talk:
Why should we return?
Why should we stir up the dust of pain and open?
A door we slept through?
We have broken the chain’s tongue
The winds flow and issue from you
As palms of hands, a forehead, singing songs which have
Flame raised above the walls of silence.
I love my refuge when it yields and when it grows strong
And when its beyond the bearers of the eyes of hell
I love my earth, my sky, and my water
I love the distance between you and me
I adore this remoteness
Winter’s apparition and the day dreams
And a perfume searching for two lovers who had rested
And gone behind the glass, starring at us,
Drawing the shadow of escalators like fluttering
Wing by wing
Haven’t you, being in us, and the conscience of distortion
And the rearing of horses
Building an auction of blood and wine?
Your apparition is the spiteful door your distance tossed us to, and when we glow we travel it in the evening
And sail away in the morning
The eyes of the road look at us
And a loom of a sun is hung like a mirror,
Boiling and swimming.
The curiosity of amulets beholds our nakedness
Like a wind playing with those who demanded
I stole time by my closeness to you,
I stole the example, my strength and these murdered years
What provoked you to escape?
You have my name as a peace and cold
And I have a security of virtue.
Why did I see you?
Even the earth’s lips are filled dust
The question floated and the squeezed clouds wept,
A sad thing clashed,
Stirred up pain in us, built a tomb at the airport
To strain the steps of the passer-by
Like resources ascending the hall of mystery, and you melt
Wrapping you up from the mist of years,
And through joints a strange cloud rises
Cold in the eyes of certainty slept on
My reward is cold and granting mercy upon
No one is better in my heart and my eyes…
And memory of apparitions and a night staring at the awake
Source: Al-Sir Khidir's book (Modern Sudanese Poetry: Anthology and Appraisal).
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