Who does not, this morning, have hope (and fear) for Tunisia on the brain?

I can’t say much for this anonymous Wikipedia translation of Tunisian poet Abo Al Qassim Al Shabbi‘s (1909-1934) “To the Tyrants of the World,” but here it is:

Hey you, the unfair tyrants…
You the lovers of the darkness…
You the enemies of life…
You’ve made fun of innocent people’s wounds; and your palm covered with their blood
You kept walking while you were deforming the charm of existence and growing seeds of sadness in their land

Wait, don’t let the spring, the clearness of the sky and the shine of the morning light fool you…
Because the darkness, the thunder rumble and the blowing of the wind are coming toward you from the horizon
Beware because there is a fire underneath the ash

Who grows thorns will reap wounds
You’ve taken off heads of people and the flowers of hope; and watered the cure of the sand with blood and tears until it was drunk
The blood’s river will sweep you away and you will be burned by the fiery storm.

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ألا أيها الظالم المستبد

حبيب الظلام عدو الحياه

سخرت بأنات شعب ضعيف

و كفك مخضوبة من دماه

و سرت تشوه سحر الوجود

و تبذر شوك الاسى في رباه

رويدك لا يخدعنك الربيع

و صحو الفضاء و ضوء الصباح

ففي الافق الرحب هول الظلام و قصف الرعود و عصف الرياح

حذار فتحت الرماد اللهيب

و من يبذر الشوك يجن الجراح

تأمل هنالك انى حصدت رؤوس الورى و زهور الأمل

و رويت بالدم قلب التراب اشربته الدمع حتى ثمل

سيجرفك سيل الدماء

و يأكلك العاصف المشتعل

9 thoughts on “To the Tyrants of the World

  1. He’s so relevant these days! And there’s also his brilliant إذا الشعب يوما أراد الحياة
    (If the people wanted life one day…)

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      1. It’s an exciting (scary, exhilarating, hopeful) time to be in the Arab world, isn’t it? I wonder what literature will pour out of this year.

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