Ibrahim Nasrallah (Jordan-Palestine, 1954)
Who loves the winter as you do?
And is fascinated by trees that resist the wind as you do?
And who like you perfects life
With such innocent joy?
If only you were with me now
I have prepared everything
The chestnuts and the fire,
I have pulled back the blinds
And raised my prayer to the gypsy rain
Pleaded that it persist in its discord
And eternal rites
If only you were beside me now!
I have prepared my poems
And reclaimed my hand
To swallow up the ring of your voice
As you commune with the buds
Or kindle the fire
God! Had you been with me
We would have sung our song now
The one which the wind almost uproots from my voice
Each time I sing it alone
Tranlated by Lena Jayyusy and Jeremy Reed
Ibrahim Nasrallah was born in Amman, Jordan, in a Palestinian refugee camp, in 1954. A poet, novelist, profesor, painter and photographer, he taught in Saudi Arabia for 2 years and worked as a journalist between 1978 and 1996. He has published 10 books of poetry, seven novels and two children's books. Published works: Horses are Overlooking the City, 1980; Morning Songs, 1984; The Last Dialogue a Few Minutes Before the Killing of the Sparrow, 1984; The River Boy and the General, 1987; The Rain Inside; Storms of the Heart, 1989; Green Wood, 1991; The Fox's Scandal, 1993; Verandahs of Autumn, 1997; The Book of Death and the Dead, 1998; In the Name of the Mother and the Son, 1999; Mirrors of Angels, 2001; The Birds of Warning. He won the "Arrar prize" in 1991 and the Sultan Oweis Prize for his poetry in 1987. In the United Arab Emirates he received the Al-Uweis Literary Award in 1997, the most prestigious prize for Arab language poets.