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Poem: “Dear eternity, I want a truce of love” by Ghada Al-Samman

A poem by Ghada Al-Samman.

Ghada Al-Samman (غادة السمّان‎) is a Syrian writer, journalist and novelist born in Damascus. Due to the severe Syrian humanitarian crises, it occured to me to translate some of her poems. I’m not a translator (and I don’t know if these poems have been translated previously) but I did my best to preserve the meanings and the feelings of the poems.


Dear eternity, I want a truce of love ..
I was born in war And  perhaps the nozzle of a cannon shot me.
In adolescence I was grabbed by a war ,
My youth was  baptized in the Lebanese war , and in  love stories.
My whole life is full of wars with live ammunition from my blood –
And on  the rhythm of my crazy heart, wandering between the shelter and the first line of fire ..
And when the heart front subsides, the homeland front bursts  ..
Dear eternity, do not I have the right to ask for a short truce
Like ten years, to live it with my love in peace?
I was born with a bullet in my mouth
Dipped in blood ..
my first pillow is a grenade, And  my doll is a Kalashnikov submachine
Today, I raise the white  flag for a truce for me
And   another for my beloved Beirut,
a truce that lasts a short everlasting  while : A thousand years and a year …

The first poem: “A war that we don’t want among us” 

The second poem: “The virtual impostor” 

The original poem in Arabic:

أيها الدهر، أريد هدنة حب..
ولدت في الحرب ولعل فوهة مدفع أطلقتني.
في المراهقة تلقفتني حرب،
شبابي تعمد بالحرب اللبنانبة، وبحكايا حب.
حياتي كلها حروب بالذخيرة الحية من دمي
وعلى ايقاع قلبي المجنون التائه بين الملجأ وخط النار الأول..
وحين تهدأ جبهة القلب تنفجر جبهة الوطن..
أيها الدهر، ألا يحق لي أن أطلب هدنة قصيرة
مثل عشرة اعوام، أعيشها مع حبي بسلام؟
ولدت وفي فمي رصاصة
مغموسة بالدم..
وسادتي الاولى قنبلة يدوية، ودميتي رشاش كلاشنكوف
اليوم، أرفع العلم اللأبيض من أجل هدنة لي
وأخرى لحبيبتي بيروت،
هدنة تدوم برهة قصيرة دهرية: ألف عام وعام…

Ghada Al-Samman A  war that we don't want among us

Ghada Al-Samman
A  war that we don’t want among us



3 thoughts on “Poem: “Dear eternity, I want a truce of love” by Ghada Al-Samman

  1. Thank you for translating this poignant, heart-breaking poetry – I greatly appreciate the opportunity to read it.

    Posted by Mike | September 4, 2013, 5:47 am


  1. Pingback: Poem: “A war that we don’t want among us” by Ghada Al-Samman | My Books' Journal - September 7, 2013

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