Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Najwan Darwish

JERUSALEM

When I leave you I turn to stone
and when I come back I turn to stone

I name you Medusa
I name you the older sister of Sodom and Gomorrah
you the baptismal basin that burned Rome

The murdered hum their poems on the hills
and the rebels reproach the tellers of their stories
while I leave the sea behind and come back
to you, come back
by this small river that flows in your despair

I hear the reciters of the Quran and the shrouders of corpses
I hear the dust of the condolers
I am not yet thirty, but you buried me, time and again
and each time, for your sake
I emerge from the earth
So let those who sing your praises go to hell
those who sell souvenirs of your pain
all those who are standing with me, now, in the picture

I name you Medusa
I name you the older sister of Sodom and Gomorrah
you the baptismal basin that still burns

When I leave you I turn to stone
When I come back I turn to stone

JERUZALEM

Als ik jou verlaat, word ik een steen
Als ik naar jou terugkeer, word ik een steen
 
Ik noem je Medusa
Ik noem je de oudere zus van Sodom en Gomorra
Het bekken dat Rome liet branden
 
Gevallenen zingen in de heuvels
Rebellen hekelen wie hun verhalen vertellen
Ik laat de zee achter me en kom naar jou terug
Ik kom
Met deze beek die in jouw wanhoop uitmondt
 
Ik hoor de Koranrecitatie, mannen die het lichaam omwikkelen
En stofwolken van troosters
Ik ben nog geen dertig en jij hebt me vaak begraven
Elke keer
Kwam ik voor jou uit het graf
Laat wie jou eren naar de hel gaan
Handelaars in herinneringen aan jouw pijn
Allen die nu met mij op de foto staan
 
Ik noem je Medusa
Ik noem je de oudere zus van Sodom en Gomorra
Het bekken dat nog steeds brandt
 
Als ik jou verlaat, word ik een steen
Als ik naar jou terugkeer, word ik een steen

Close

JERUSALEM

When I leave you I turn to stone
and when I come back I turn to stone

I name you Medusa
I name you the older sister of Sodom and Gomorrah
you the baptismal basin that burned Rome

The murdered hum their poems on the hills
and the rebels reproach the tellers of their stories
while I leave the sea behind and come back
to you, come back
by this small river that flows in your despair

I hear the reciters of the Quran and the shrouders of corpses
I hear the dust of the condolers
I am not yet thirty, but you buried me, time and again
and each time, for your sake
I emerge from the earth
So let those who sing your praises go to hell
those who sell souvenirs of your pain
all those who are standing with me, now, in the picture

I name you Medusa
I name you the older sister of Sodom and Gomorrah
you the baptismal basin that still burns

When I leave you I turn to stone
When I come back I turn to stone

JERUSALEM

When I leave you I turn to stone
and when I come back I turn to stone

I name you Medusa
I name you the older sister of Sodom and Gomorrah
you the baptismal basin that burned Rome

The murdered hum their poems on the hills
and the rebels reproach the tellers of their stories
while I leave the sea behind and come back
to you, come back
by this small river that flows in your despair

I hear the reciters of the Quran and the shrouders of corpses
I hear the dust of the condolers
I am not yet thirty, but you buried me, time and again
and each time, for your sake
I emerge from the earth
So let those who sing your praises go to hell
those who sell souvenirs of your pain
all those who are standing with me, now, in the picture

I name you Medusa
I name you the older sister of Sodom and Gomorrah
you the baptismal basin that still burns

When I leave you I turn to stone
When I come back I turn to stone
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
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