I declare (a poem)

This is one of the most beautiful poems I have ever read, for one of the most intense, truthful and talented poets, one of my favourite poets actually, his name is Nezar Qabani. I understand that many of you do not come from the same area of the world where I reside, so most probably you won’t be familiar with the name, but I hope you would sense the beauty in his verses, and the truthfulness and charm in his words the way I do.

I have mentioned that in a previous post, and here I do it again. I understand that translating scripts of poetic nature makes them lose a lot of their original charm and beauty, keeping in mind that I am the one who translated them a non-professional translation which might actually make things worse! But I do believe that however rusty the translation might be, the script would still be inhabited by the ghost of art, and hopefully, you would sense the beauty and the truthfulness of the meanings and the feelings within. Besides, I think this poem is very beautiful to be kept in the chains of language, so I tried to liberate it and send it in the open beyond the fences of language and culture.

Now, I would like to mention something about myself and my attitude when it comes to sharing poems or any sort of literature. I adore literature and especially poetry I feel like it abbreviates the history of love, revolution, and every noble thing in the world. At times, it abbreviates the history of the culture of a whole nation like you read Shakespere or Dickens, and you feel like you can smell the fog in ancient England! So, anyway, sometimes I just share poems as a part of sharing things I like, but sometimes, like this time, it is a bit different and a bit deeper!

With some scripts, like this one, you feel like you can’t exactly define the space between you and the script, between your life, and the virtual life dancing inside that script. You feel that your experiences are somehow linked to the experience in the script, your own ideas and emotions are like an extension to that script, complementary to the ideas within it, mixing with them, or even embracing them at times!

Nezar Qabani was talking about his beloved ” Belqees Al-Rawy”, but for a while, I felt like he was talking about mine! my Countess! And I felt like I just re-discovered the whole poem again! At some parts, I just felt like he was literally expressing everything I felt, but was never able to express that beautifully!

Anyway, I don’t want to waste your time and effort reading my own words, when Nezar’s beautiful words are waiting for you to enjoy 🙂

I will post both the english translated version of the poem, as well as the original arabic version for locals to enjoy.

And yes, for locals, if anybody can come with a more professional translation, please don’t hesitate to share it with us, as I hope to make the translated version as beautiful and close to the original script as possible.

Now ladies and gentlemen, meet Nezar Qabani 🙂


I declare
that no other woman ever mastered the game but you
ever tolerated my foolishness for years
and my madness like you did
I declare no other woman ever
cut my nails
arranged my books
and took me back to kindergarten
but you
I declare that
no woman is so much alike me
like an oil painting
in thoughts and attitudes
but you
in sanity and madness
in quick attachement
and quick boredom
but you

I declare that
no woman has ever taken of my attention
even half as much as you took
no woman ever conquered me as you did
or liberated me the way you did

I declare that
no woman ever
treated me like a 2 months old baby
but you
offered me milk
flowers and toys
but you

no woman was ever generous with me
like the sea
classy like poetry
no woman ever pampered me
spoiled me
the way you did
no woman ever made my childhood
extend for years and years
but you
I declare that
no woman one can say she is Eve
but you
and at her navel
is the centre of universe
no woman the trees follow her when she walks
the pigeons drink from her ice body
the sheep eat from the summer grass of her armpits
but you
no woman ever abbreviated the history of femininity
in her body
incited my manhood against me
but you

I declare that
no woman has ever made time stop at her right bossom
and revolutions started at foothills of her left bossom
like you
no woman ever changed the world’s legalisation
the world’s map
but you

I declare that
no woman invades my being like an earthquake
at love moments
burns me
drowns me
ignites me
and quenches me
splits me like a crescent
but you
occupies my soul
the longest occupation
the happiest occupation
plants me
roses and mint
and orange fields

Oh Lady
the one I leave my questions beneath her hair
though she never answered any
Oh lady
you are all the languages in one
a one that is sensed
but can never be said

oh you Lady
with the oceanic eyes
and the waxy hands
so fair like silver
so smooth like a crystal
you are
I declare that
no woman ever around her waist
all times are wrapped
all eras evolve
around her waist
thousand planets revolve
no other woman but you my love
on her arms was raised
the first male ever
and the last male

you lady
so pure you are
so beautiful and just
so delcious
and so innocent
like eternal childhood

I declare that
no woman ever revolted against the rule of the cave people
we belong to
but you
no woman ever
broke thier stone age idols
destroyed thier delusions
and challenged thier power
but you
received the stabs of the tribe
in her bossom
and considered my love to her
the greatest virtue
but you
I declare that
no woman ever was so right for me
the way you do
her hair was longer than what i dreamed
longer than what i wanted it to be
her breasts
came exactly like i dreamed
like i drew
no woman ever
comes out from the clouds of smoke if I smoke
flies like a white pigeon in my mind if I think
but you
oh lady for whom I wrote whole books
but with all my books and poetry
you remained more beautiful
than whatever I wrote

I declare that
no woman ever
has made love to me the way you do
no woman was as civilised as you
no woman ever removed the third world dust
from my shoulders
but you
I declare that
no woman before you
has ever treated my inhibitions
has ever cultured my body
and talked to it like a violin

Oh Lady
I declare that
there is no other woman
but you
but you
but you.
Nezar Qabani.

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

أتقنت اللعبة إلا أنت

واحتملت حماقتي

عشرة أعوام كما احتملت

واصطبرت على جنوني مثلما صبرت

وقلمت أظافري

ورتبت دفاتري

وأدخلتني روضة الأطفال

إلا أنت ..

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

تشبهني كصورة زيتية

في الفكر والسلوك إلا أنت

والعقل والجنون إلا أنت

والملل السريع

والتعلق السريع

إلا أنت ..

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

قد أخذت من اهتمامي

نصف ما أخذت

واستعمرتني مثلما فعلت

وحررتني مثلما فعلت

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

تعاملت معي كطفل عمره شهران

إلا أنت ..

وقدمت لي لبن العصفور

والأزهار والألعاب

إلا أنت ..

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

كانت معي كريمة كالبحر

راقية كالشعر

ودللتني مثلما فعلت

وأفسدتني مثلما فعلت

أشهد أن لا امرأة

قد جعلت طفولتي

تمتد للخمسين .. إلا أنت

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

تقدرأن تقول إنها النساء .. إلا أنت

وإن في سرتها

مركز هذا الكون

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

تتبعها الأشجار عندما تسير

إلا أنت ..

ويشرب الحمام من مياه جسمها الثلجي

إلا أنت ..

وتأكل الخراف من حشيش إبطها الصيفي

إلا أنت

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

إختصرت بكلمتين قصة الأنوثة

وحرضت رجولتي علي

إلا أنت ..

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

توقف الزمان عند نهدها الأيمن

إلا أنت ..

وقامت الثورات من سفوح نهدها الأيسر

إلا أنت ..

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

قد غيرت شرائع العالم إلا أنت

وغيرت

خريطة الحلال والحرام

إلا أنت ..

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

تجتاحني في لحظات العشق كالزلزال

تحرقني .. تغرقني

تشعلني .. تطفئني

تكسرني نصفين كالهلال

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

تحتل نفسي أطول احتلال

وأسعد احتلال

تزرعني

وردا دمشقيا

ونعناعا

وبرتقال

يا امرأة

اترك تحت شعرها أسئلتي

ولم تجب يوما على سؤال

يا امرأة هي اللغات كلها

لكنها

تلمس بالذهن ولا تقال

أيتها البحرية العينين

والشمعية اليدين

والرائعة الحضور

أيتها البيضاء كالفضة

والملساء كالبلور

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

على محيط خصرها . .تجتمع العصور

وألف ألف كوكب يدور

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً .. غيرك يا حبيبتي

على ذراعيها تربى أول الذكور

وآخر الذكور

أيتها اللماحة الشفافة

العادلة الجميلة

أيتها الشهية البهية

الدائمة الطفوله

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

تحررت من حكم أهل الكهف إلا أنت

وكسرت أصنامهم

وبددت أوهامهم

وأسقطت سلطة أهل الكهف إلا أنت

أشهد أن لا امرأة

إستقبلت بصدرها خناجر القبيلة

واعتبرت حبي لها

خلاصة الفضيله

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

جاءت تماما مثلما انتظرت

وجاء طول شعرها أطول مما شئت أو حلمت

وجاء شكل نهدها

مطابقا لكل ما خططت أو رسمت

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

تخرج من سحب الدخان .. إن دخنت

تطير كالحمامة البيضاء في فكري .. إذا فكرت

يا امرأة ..كتبت عنها كتبا بحالها

لكنها برغم شعري كله

قد بقيت .. أجمل من جميع ما كتبت

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

مارست الحب معي بمنتهى الحضاره

وأخرجتني من غبار العالم الثالث

إلا أنت

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

قبلك حلت عقدي

وثقفت لي جسدي

وحاورته مثلما تحاور القيثاره

أشهد أن لا امرأة ً

إلا أنت ..

إلا أنت ..

إلا أنت ..

 
نزار قبانى

Her Wild Stallion

6 Responses to “I declare (a poem)”

  1. i’ve always suspected nizar was a submissive, some of his poems are things fit for a submissive to tell her mistress. How he is fixated fascinated with her, how he channels sexuality through romance, coming to think of it, I’m sure he was into some sort or another of BDSM

  2. Well, I’d say I generally agree with you..Nezar was so sensitive, so submissive in his emotional approach..Like you I believe he had part of that flame inside him, but to what extent, I am not really sure, and I don’t really care, as it doesn’t matter. All that matters is his ability to shake the land beneath the feet of the lies, falsely called traditions. The poet of love and revolution, who stabbed the dictators with the sharp edge of his words, was not ashamed to show his weakness before his muse, proud to show his love, and his melting to her beauty, and you can smell the sweet surrender to love in his beautiful verses. Nothing was stronger than his revolutionary nature, but his endless capacity to love, and nothing was more beautiful than his fascinating verses, but his sensitive beautiful emotions. Like a knight he was, raising his sword against his enemy, but never ashamed to surrender to the power of beauty and love.

    • I was quite young when I first started reading his poetry, I feel nostalgic when I recall how I used to hide his books in my desk. I guess in a way his writing was the first erotica I’ve ever read

      • I really liked that expression of yours ” he channels sexuality through romance”..It is very true about him, so that when you read him, you can never categorise his words, and just stay breathless not sure was that about love, erotica, or politics. A mad mixture of everything pulsating with life.

  3. […] previous post, I translated his fantastic poem “I declare” and I wrote a short introduction about him if anyone wants to revise […]

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