Literal Translation by Fadhil al-Azzawi




By Fadhil al-Azzawi

In the dark of the night, coming drunk out of a tavern

Trembling with each step and followed by evil ghosts

Fury dogs barking behind me

I began singing like a madman loud

To forget the solitude of my road.

A dervish, disguised as an angel, hopped out of a mosque.

With a stock in his hand cursing threatened me:

“You have lost your life between the pubs!”

Then he ordered me piously:

“Don’t you know that it is forbidden to drink in this world, Adam?

So go and drink your wine for free of charge

With the most beautiful hurries[WS1]  in Paradise!”

 “But tell me, master of my days, where is this fairyland?”

He pointed out with his stock to a star, twinkling in eternity:

“Up there in Heaven!”

He fluttered like a falcon, glorious flew toward God.

I stayed paralyzed with fear, not knowing what to do.

Hafez, the poet, surprised me, laughing.

He was coming back like me from the bar.

“Don’t worry, my friend, if their heaven’s walls are so high

And you have no wings to fly!

Then we can turn the Earth also into paradise.

We have forests that stretch away, green meadows and running rivers.

We have mountains we will ascend when flood comes,

Seas and oceans full of fish and whales

And most beautiful girls ever created by God.

We will bring the snake also in a cage to climb the branches of the tree.

What will we need more than that?”

                                                         Translated by the author