Juma Rifai

جملة واحدة مكررة الشاعر الفلسطيني جمعة الرفاعي ترجمة نزار سرطاوي وفيرونيكا غولس

من الأفض ِل للشاع ِر أن يتهيَّأ لكارث ٍة ستحص ُل بع َد قليل
ذل َكيعنيأنيفكَّربالَّنجاة
و أ ن ي خ ب َر ا ل آ خ ر ي َن ع ن أ ق ص ِر ا ل ُّط ر ِق ل ل خ ر و ِج م ن ا ل َّر ْد م
توق ُع الكارث ِة يعني التفكي ُر بإنقا ِذ ما يمك ُن إنقاذه
أ ن ي ب ن َي س و ر ً ا ح و َل ا ل ح د ي ق ة
وأن يصف َع المو َت بمكبرا ِت الكلام
أن يقو َل للري ِح الهادئ ِة على الشاطئ
استم ّري بالهبوب
وأن يقو َل للنهر
أ ن َت ص د ي ق ي
وماؤ َكقبيلتي
ثميكت ُبعلىورقٍةبيضاَء
جمل ًة واحيد ًة ومك َّررة:
أنا الكارثة؛
ج م ل ٌ ة ي ط ب ع ه ا آ ل ا َف ا ل م ر ا ِ
ويلقي بها في الطرقات
ت ح َت ا ل ق ن ا د ي ِل
ويرمي بها في شبابي ِك غر ِف ال َّنوم
في الغاب ِة
ع ّل غ ز ا ل ا ً أ و و ح ي َد ق ر ٍن
ي و ق ُظ ا ل ك ا ئ ن ا ِت م ن ب ي ا ت ه ا ا ل ِ ّش ت و ّي

A single, Repeated Sentence

The poet must be prepared for impending
This means he has to think of a deliverance,
to lead us all out of the rubble –
foreseeing disaster: How to save what might
be saved?
Build a wall around the garden!
Slap death with loudspeakers!
Urge the quiet beach wind to up and blow,
Sing to the river: You are my love!
Your water is my tribe;
And, he will write this on a white sheet,
this single repeated sentence:
I am the sentence repeated a thousand times
the sentence littered on the roads
hid under lampposts
sent through the windows of bedrooms
and then, in the forest, the deer, the unicorn,
will awaken creatures from their hibernation.

Juma Rifai, a Palestinian poet, holds a Bachelor’s degree and high diploma in Arabic language and literature. He worked as a teacher for a few years, then he was arrested by the occupation authorities and spent four years in prison. He is a member of the general Union for Palestinian writes, and serves as its executive manager. He has participated in several poetry festivals. In addition to a narrative book, he has published three Arabic poetry books: Prisonisios (2010), A Missing Direction (2016), and If He Sees A Fire (2020).

Nizar Sartawi is a Palestinian poet and translator committed to building bridges between nations of the globe through poetry and poetry translation. He is a member of many Arab and international literary and cultural organizations. He has participated in a number of international poetry festivals and readings. He has published more than 25 books. He was awarded the first prize in translation by Al-Nour Literary Organization in 1913, Naji Naaman Award for Creativity in 2018, and Jerusalem Intellectuals Forum Honorary Award in 2019. Sartawi translated selections of Veronica Golos’s poetry book Vocabulary of Silence.

Veronica Golos is founding co-editor of the Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, former Poetry Editor for the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, and core faculty at Tupelo Press’s Writers Conferences. Golos is the author of four poetry books, GIRL (3: A Taos Press) awarded the Naji Naaman Honor Prize for Poetry, 2019 (Beirut, Lebanon); Rootwork (3: A Taos Press. 2015); Vocabulary of Silence (Red Hen Press, 2011), winner of the 2011 New Mexico Book Award, translated into Arabic by poet Nizar Sartawi; and A Bell Buried Deep (Storyline Press, 2004), co-winner of the 16th Annual Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, adapted for stage and performed at Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA. She lives in Taos, New Mexico. U.S.A., with her husband, David Pérez.