Episode #138 Why I Am Silent About The Lament - Abdullah Al-Baradouni

07.23.2021 - By Close Talking: A Poetry Podcast

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Connor and Jack discuss the poem "Why I Am Silent About The Lament" by Abdullah Al-Baradouni, translated by Threa Almontaser. Despite being one of the most prominent and influential poets in the Arab world, until recently only one of Baradouni's poems had been translated into English. Connor and Jack discuss Baradouni's legacy, the ways this poem - written decades ago - speaks to the contemporary human rights crisis in Yemen, and Yemen's deep history of art, culture, and music.

Learn more about Abdullah Al-Baradouni, here: https://yemenusedtobe.org/abdullah-al-baradouni/

Learn more about Threa Almontaser, here: https://www.threawrites.com/

Get a copy of her new book The Wild Fox of Yemen, here: https://www.graywolfpress.org/books/wild-fox-yemen

Why I Am Silent About The Lament
By: Abdullah Al-Baradouni (trans. Threa Almontaser)

They tell me my silence is about lamentation.
I tell them the howling is ugly.

يقولون لي مالي صمتّ عن الرّثاء
فقلت لهم ان العويل قبي

Poetry is only for life and I
felt like singing, not howling.

وما الشعر الاّ للحياة وانّي
شعرتُ اغنّي ما شعرت انوح

How do I call the dead now that between us are hushed
dirt and grave? I am surrounded by mute soil and a mausoleum.

وكيف انادي ميّتاً حال بينه
وبيني ترابٌ صامت وضريح

Howling is only for widows and I am not
like a widow who wails on the silent casket.

وما النّواحُ الاٍ للثٍكالى ولم أكن
كثكلى على صمت النعوش تصيح

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