Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Mona Kareem

Happiness

She sits at the kitchen table;
A table for a man, a woman, and three children.
She settles her hand beneath her cheek.
And wishes the flowers on the curtain wouldn’t fade.

Her husband works too much,
The money does too little, and the children
Need someone to listen to their lying tales.

She feels she cannot talk to anyone.
She escapes every night, dressed as a clown,
In the main square she spends the night with passers-by
Talking about things unrelated to happiness.

She promises: I shall allow
No one to rob me of this clown.

Geluk

Ze zit aan de eettafel in de keuken,
een tafel voor een man, een vrouw en drie kinderen
ze plaatst haar hand onder haar kin
ze zou willen dat de bloemen op het gordijn niet verbleekt waren.

Haar man werkt veel
er is weinig geld,
en de kinderen willen iemand die naar hun gelogen verhalen luistert.

Ze voelt dat ze met niemand kan praten
ze vlucht elke nacht verkleed in clownskleding
ze blijft op met de mensen op het plein
om te praten over dingen die niets met geluk te maken hebben.

Ze zegt:
“ik sta niemand toe deze clown van me af te pakken.”

السعادة

تجلس إلى طاولة الطعام في المطبخ،
طاولة لرجل وامرأة وثلاثة أطفال،
تضع يدها تحت خدها
وتود لو أن أزهار الستارة لم تبهت.

زوجها يعمل كثيراً،
النقود تفعل قليلاً،
والأطفال يريدون من يستمع إلى قصصهم الكاذبة.

تشعر أنها لا يمكنها أن تتكلم مع أحد،
تهرب كل ليلة متنكرة بلباس مهرج
وتسهر مع المارة في الساحة الرئيسية
ليتحدثوا عن أشياء لا تدعي السعادة.

تقول:
"لن أسمح لأحد أن يسرق مني هذا المهرج."
Close

Happiness

She sits at the kitchen table;
A table for a man, a woman, and three children.
She settles her hand beneath her cheek.
And wishes the flowers on the curtain wouldn’t fade.

Her husband works too much,
The money does too little, and the children
Need someone to listen to their lying tales.

She feels she cannot talk to anyone.
She escapes every night, dressed as a clown,
In the main square she spends the night with passers-by
Talking about things unrelated to happiness.

She promises: I shall allow
No one to rob me of this clown.

Happiness

She sits at the kitchen table;
A table for a man, a woman, and three children.
She settles her hand beneath her cheek.
And wishes the flowers on the curtain wouldn’t fade.

Her husband works too much,
The money does too little, and the children
Need someone to listen to their lying tales.

She feels she cannot talk to anyone.
She escapes every night, dressed as a clown,
In the main square she spends the night with passers-by
Talking about things unrelated to happiness.

She promises: I shall allow
No one to rob me of this clown.
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
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère