Faten al-Gharra is an award-winning Palestinian poet with three collections to her name and an international following. The Poetry Translation Centre who produced this delicate and evocative translation of al-Gharra's beautiful poem. You can read more about their process, and see the Arabic original and English literal translation of the poem here.
I Reveal Myself
Descendant of raiders who landed on the beaches,
heir to the woman who unmanned Samson,
I am the daughter of waves and of memory,
a fresh shoot on old stock.
When I open my arms, the universe sets forth.
When I smile, honey wells from my virgin lips.
I take a step and the earth loses its balance.
In my laugh, earthquakes resound,
and volcanoes spurt from seven tectonic plates.
The child of frivolity and modesty,
I am the daughter of depravity and purity,
the progeny of black and white.
The tip of my finger taps the stars off track.
If I close my eyes,
darkness eclipses the world, until my eyelids lift
bathing it in gold.
And when I toss back my hair
the universe shivers in recognition.
I am today and I am tomorrow.
Crowned queen on the throne of space.
A blink, and fields foam green with wheat.
I am wheat itself. I am green.
The first harvest.
Translated by Sarah Maguire with Anna Murison and the Poetry Translation Centre Workshop
© The Poetry Translation Centre
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