Sketching at Bassam II {and two poems}


 

Sketching at Bassam II {and two poems}

Ink on Miquelrius paper + Digital collage. October 2011

I want to share these two poems by Ilyas Abu Shabaku, which were given to me as a gift. Poetry is a candle in a dark room, and today I realized our job in this life may just be to burn as bright as torches, as bright and as alive and loud as we can, for each glorious day we have left.

 

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortnened,

Happiness never decreases by being shared.

Buddha

 

 

YOU OR I?

By Ilyas Abu Shabaku, Lebanese poet (1903-1947)

 

This beauty, is it yours or mine?

In you I see a person beautiful in love

Like me. And which of us has given me life?

Is it your shape or mine that i love so?

When in my dream I see love’s images

Is it your shadow in my soul or mine?

Love, all of love, dwells in all I see

Whence all this light? Your universal soul?

Did I create you in the world of fancy

Or are you my creator?

Am I the first whom inspiration blessed

Or was it you? Who writes this verse?

Did I write it for you or you for me?

And who in love can be dictated to

And who dictates? Our imaginations blend,

Your soul within my soul, your mind in mine

When things appear obscure to me I see

A doubting shadow dawning in your eyes

When we met first I found my beginning

As if you were a lost part of my being.

Translated by Adam Haydar and Michael Beard

 

 

I LOVE YOU

  By Ilyas Abu Shabaku, Lebanese poet (1903-1947)

 

I love you more than human heart can bear

More than a poet dreams or lover feels

You are the perfumed cloud from heaven sent

To rain upon me your enchanted dew;

I feel your heart, your veins flow into mine,

No gap to let the impure world creep in;

My heart confronts your heart, finding its twin,

As two cups meet in one eternal vow;

In us when wine is made to mix with wine,

A blend of perfume, breeze, and dew combine;

My inspiration dwells within your eyes,

And swells when lip on lip instructs my art;

For us the fire rages, though unfed,

Though we are calm, a storm erupts within.

Translated by Adam Haydar and Michael Beard
 
 

 

 

"Waiting is nothing but a guided dream"

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