*Been in Beirut for a month now. This poem’s on my mind most of the time. One of the first days here I got lost searching for the sea (it’s hard to see, smell or hear the sea due to all of the building/s/ everywhere) and I finally found my way – stumbling upon a little street that took me straight to the coast.
It was the street of Nizar Qabbani. In this city of refuge that needs a refuge, Qabbani shows the way to the sea. I call it hope.
Beirut, The Mistress Of The World
Beirut, the Mistress of the World
We confess before the One God
That we were envious of you
That your beauty hurt us
We confess now
That we’ve maltreated and misunderstood you
And we had no mercy and didn’t excuse you
And we offered you a dagger in place of flowers!
We confess before the fair God
That we injured you, alas; we tired you
That we vexed you and made you cry
And we burdened you with our insurrections
The world without you won’t suffice us
We now realize your roots are deep inside us,
We now realize what offence we’ve perpetrated
Rise from under the rubble
Like a flower of Almond in April
Get over your sorrow
Since revolution grows in the wounds of grief
Rise in honor of the forests,
Rise in honor of the rivers
Rise in honor of humankind
Rise, Oh Beirut!