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[casi] "Iraq, Iraq, nothing but Iraq." (poems)

Dear All,

Some more food for our souls - Iraqis' and
outsiders'. The poems are by Iraqis. Perhaps
poetry helps us to sense the feelings of other
people more acutely than plain language can.
Here, feelings of pain, sorrow, despair...

I hope you won't be angry with me for posting


P.S. Danke, Andreas, fuer die deutsche Fassung
des Textes. I forgot in my posting to JP.
[Nachdichtung = free rendering or adaptation (?)]


And here are the Iraqi poems.

A personal song

By Saadi Youssef

Is it Iraq?
Blessed is the one who said
I know the road which leads to it;
Blessed is the one whose lips uttered the four
"Iraq, Iraq, nothing but Iraq." [12] (1)
Distant missiles will applaud;
Soldiers armed to the teeth will storm us;
Minarets and houses will crumble;
Palm trees will collapse under the bombing;
The shores will be crowded
With floating corpses.
We will seldom see Al-Tahrir Square
In books of elegies and photographs;
Restaurants and hotels will be our roadmaps
And our home in the paradise of shelter:
Holiday Inn;
And we will be drowned
Like your name, O Iraq,
"Iraq, Iraq, nothing but Iraq"

London, March 15, 2003

(1) The line is from the well-known poem,
Unshudat Al- Matar (Rainsong), by the pioneering
Iraqi poet Badr Shakir Al-Sayyab (1926-1964).

Wine and grief

By Muzaffar Al-Nawwab

The tavern is asleep.
Forgive me, I will leave now.
My heart is filled with wine and grief:
I wish I could roll in the sand
And the scent of melon
On the banks of the Tigris.


I hear an infant crying in his cradle:
Please God, let him have a homeland
I lived without one!


Baghdad wakes up from her dream,
She washes her beauty with dew
And twilight blueness;
She goes inside to God
And comes out carrying the Sun
And some mint tea from Basra.
The banks of the Tigris are still asleep:
The informant forgot his report
On the table and is gone.
The report says: the wine is bad.
He lies about everything,
Even about the wine!

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