Monday, 30 March 2009

an attempt to resuscitate du'a khalil aswad

Poem by Sjón

an attempt to resuscitate du’a khalil aswad

the human hand looks like an outstretched wing
whether it is throwing
a heap of small stones
or a rock the size of a fist

the pebbles
skim across the water –
pause for a moment
in their flight before they fall

the big stone knows no rest until it
lands on the body of a 17-year-old girl in love

(one is a recent newspaper report
the other the memory of a summer’s night)


the mind will not let go
either of memories or of news reports

it never looks like an outstretched wing


to the god of those who were stoned to death
I offer this poem in exchange for her life

translated from Icelandic by David McDuff

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