Mahmoud Darwish: Nothing Impresses me. (لا شيء يعجبني)

Mahmoud Darwish is a Palestine poet. I will not spend my time explaining who he is because he does not need introductions (غني عن التعريف). My passion towards the Arabic language is one I cannot foster well because of a weakness from me. I started writing poetry in English at the age of 11, yet wrote only a few Arabic ones (that don’t really register as poems) in my late 16s.

My post is not about my Arabic, or Darwish, or my early adolescent years. It is about this poem.  I roughly translated the poem so non-arabic speakers (if any) reading this blog understand the context. However, the English translation does not do it justice, for it is far too beautiful in Arabic to ever reach that level of profoundness in any other language.

It takes about how everyone is not pleased with their lives, what they do, or the people around them. Recently, I have come to the realization that I am not happy. It takes a lot of might to accept such state of mind. I mean really, what is happiness anyway. Whatever it is, I know I am far from reaching it.

Unlike Darwish, I cannot get off the ride, because metaphorically speaking his ride equals fate to me. I cannot stop it, I have no control over it, and I cannot change it. All I can do is pray that it serves me well until I reach my final stop in life.

I will stop the pointless jibber jabber and let you enjoy this very delightful poem, which I will refrain from explaining my own perception to it because the true essence of poetry is: we each understand it the way we feel best.


Poem by Mahmoud Darwish: Nothing Impresses me.

محمود درويش – لا شيء يعجبني

يقول مسافرٌ في الباصِ .. لا شيءَ يُعْجبُني

A passenger on the bus says… nothing impresses me.

لا الراديو  و لا صُحُفُ الصباح , و لا القلاعُ على التلال. أُريد أن أبكي

Not the radio, the morning newspapers, or even fortresses on hills. I long for a weep.

يقول السائقُ: انتظرِ الوصولَ إلى المحطَّةِ, وابْكِ وحدك ما استطعتَ

The bus driver says: Wait until we reach the station, and weep alone as you can.

تقول سيّدةٌ: أَنا أَيضاً. أنا لا شيءَ يُعْجبُني. دَلَلْتُ اُبني على قبري’ فأعْجَبَهُ ونامَ’ ولم يُوَدِّعْني

A lady says: Me too. Nothing impresses me. I spoiled my son upon my grave, he enjoyed it and slept without saying goodbye.

يقول الجامعيُّ: ولا أَنا ‘ لا شيءَ يعجبني. دَرَسْتُ الأركيولوجيا دون أَن أَجِدَ الهُوِيَّةَ في الحجارة. هل أنا حقاً أَنا؟

A university student says: Me neither. Nothing impresses me. I studied archeology without finding an identity in stones. Am I really me?

ويقول جنديٌّ: أَنا أَيضاً. أَنا لا شيءَ يُعْجبُني . أُحاصِرُ دائماً شَبَحاً يُحاصِرُني

A solider says: Me too. Nothing impresses me. I guard a ghost that always haunts me.

يقولُ السائقُ العصبيُّ: ها نحن اقتربنا من محطتنا الأخيرة’ فاستعدوا للنزول…

The angry driver replies: We are close to our last stop, get ready to leave.

فيصرخون: نريدُ ما بَعْدَ المحطَّةِ’ .. فانطلق!

They scream: We want what is beyond the station, so go.

أمَّا أنا فأقولُ: أنْزِلْني هنا . أنا مثلهم لا شيء يعجبني ‘ ولكني تعبتُ من السِّفَرْ

.As for me, I say: Drop me here. I am like them, nothing impresses me. But I am tired from traveling.

    • umniyya
    • September 11th, 2011


    • umniyya
    • September 11th, 2011


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