Sudan: Selected Poem - Not About Love (Abdul Rahim Abu Zikra)

Today's selected poem was also written by the Sudanese poet Abdul Rahim Abu Zikra. Abu Zikra was known for his high sensitivity and yearning for an ideal world away from the harsh surrounding realities of life. .orn in 1943, Abu Zikra ended his own life when he jumped from a window out of the 13 floor of the Russian Sciences Academy, Moscow, in October 1989.

He graduated from the University of Khartoum, Faculty of Arts, Department of Russian language and Literature. He obtained his PhD in Russian language and literature, Antoine Chekov writings and translations in particular, in 1987. He was known to be highly talented in translation, literary writings and journalism.

He equally was known to have excelled in his academic performance, which was recognized by his Russian professors and at the University of Khartoum where he worked as lecturer.

Not About Love

I have a strange sky

I contemplate in privacy

Rock in evening, distracted

Sing in pretty songs

With my hoarse voice, not a singer's voice

I say to it, rasping:

O my refuge from intense heat and severe cold,

Vehicle of the rising sun that moves across your strange plain,

Across your spacious, invincible steppes, we gaze... .

You alone know

Why we both wade through seas

Pass between the distant stars,

Love those whose heads are held high

And the hopes we have, as yet, not realized

And the eyes swirling

In boldness and love and menacing alienation

We love the ships bolting high seas

And the border posts and man's lands

Traveling across coarse land descending on meteors

Besieged by the fire under the ancient boundaries

We rise rubbing our faces in the coming years in our steps

It tightens its killing claws

O! My sky, the smoke!

The smoke has dulled our impulses a fifth wall is in place

Carrion is thick in the wind

Heavens, love and scented air

Don't exist here... . Beholds!

Whenever we accept the earth in our hearts

It becomes on exile for us,

For our longings

*** The poem has been translated from Arabic by Alsir Khidir and published in his book "Modern Sudanese Poetry (Anthology and Appraisal)"

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