This Friday find comes from ArabLit’s comments section, where poet Marilyn Hacker shared her translation of a poem by Saniyah Saleh (1939-1995), moving it into both French and English:
During her lifetime, Saleh’s poetry — while published and acclaimed in small circles — remained in the shadow of work by her husband, the renowned poet Muhammad al-Maghout.
Thanks to poet Iman Mersal, there has been a small renaissance of interest in Saleh’s poetry, published separately in journals and brought together in two collections that appeared in 1964 and 1970.
An excerpt of a poem dedicated to her daughters Sham and Sulafa “You Will Go Out of the Body’s Walls,” was translated by Issa Boullata. Translations by Robin Moger, of “Some Thing” and “The Storm Takes the Heart,” recently appeared online.
Cure your slavery with patience
or so I was told
Cure your oppression and memory with sleep
as for me
I sat under the high, thorny trees
until they flowered
Soignez votre esclavage avec patience
On me l’a dit
Soignez votre oppression et votre mémoire avec le sommeil
Quant à moi
Je me suis assise sous des hauts arbres épineux
Jusqu’à ce qu’ils ont fleuri
عالجوا عبوديّتكم بالصبر
هكذا قيل لي
عالجوا قهركم وذاكرتكم بالنوم
فقد جلست تحت أشجار الشوك العالية
( سنية صالح )