Mahmoud Darwish “Think upon Others”

The following is a short but sweet poem from the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish “Think upon others”. There are, of course, numerous translations of this poem, which are all worth consulting.

قصيدة محمود درويش

فكّر بغيرك

وأنت تُعدُّ فطورك، فكر بغيركَ
لا تَنْسَ قوتَ الحمام
وأنتَ تخوضُ حروبكَ، فكَر بغيركَ
لا تنس مَنْ يطلبون السلام

وأنتَ تسدد فاتورةَ الماء، فكَّر بغيركَ
مَنْ يرضَعُون الغمامٍ
وأنتَ تعودُ إلى البيت، بيتكَ، فكَّر بغيركَ
لا تنس شعب الخيامَ

وأنت تنام وتُحصي الكواكبَ، فكرِّ بغيركَ
ثمَّةَ مَنْ لم يجد حيّزاً للمنام
وأنت تحرّر نفسك بالاستعارات، فكَّر بغيركَ
مَنْ فقدوا حقَهم بالكلام

وأنت تفكر بالآخرين البعيدين، فكِّر بنفسكَ
قُل: ليتني شمعة في الظلام

____________________________________________________________________

Translation

Poem by Mahmoud Darwish

“think upon others”

 

When you prepare your breakfast, think upon others

Do not forget to feed the pigeons

When you engage in your wars, think upon others

Do not forget to demand peace

 

As you pay your water bill, think upon others!

Who seek sustenance from the clouds, not a tap

And when you return to a house – your house – think upon others

Such as those who live in tents

When you fall asleep counting sheep (planets), think upon others

Who cannot find a space for sleeping

And as you search for meaning with fancy metaphors, think upon others

Who have lost their right to words

 

And while you think of faraway others, think of yourself

And say: I am a candle to this darkness

Translation by Hamish Kinnear

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