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What If I Unsettled the Homeland?

Hassan El Ouazzani

Reading from Southbank Centre's Poetry Parnassus festival, 2012. 

Translated from the Arabic by Norrdine Zouitni:
What If I Unsettled the Homeland?
What if
I unsettled the homeland?
Richter would set its scale
To shake lots of leaves from
The tree of public interest
In which many hide.
The bourgeois and the destitute,
Warlords and frontline troops,
Shepherds and faithful citizens,
Leaders and freedom-fighters.
What if
I unsettled mountains?
Rebels who lost their way
To the battle-front
Would look down from the mountains’ heights.
What if
I unsettled death?
Friends whom I had seen off for good
Would return one by one
To sit up all night
Around the table
Of life.
What if
I unsettled truth?
Many lies
Would fall from
Its folds.
What if
I unsettled silence?
A lot of clamour
Would bounce off its guts.
What if
I unsettled the left?
Party militants dreaming
Of the extreme right
Would peep from its sidelines.
What if I unsettled
Many fighters going to death
For the sake of a cause


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