Salah Jahin's Angham Sebtembariya
written following the death of President Gamal Abdel-Nasser
Translated by Amina Elbendary
The film stopped, frozen
Now we can ponder the image
No detail missing.
Everything speaks, articulate
The instant death pushed down --
gentle yet omnipotent, one desultory day --
On a button in this kingdom
The film stopped, frozen.
Let the projectionist rewind the scene
I want to see myself in the old days -- young
among the ranks of the revolution -- proud,
Impressed by neither king nor father
I want to see again and remember
Why one of my blows hit,
one of them missed
And one stopped the film, froze it.
The projectionist said: No return
Live as long as you have breath enough to live
And look and see.
Where the young sit -- row after row --
Where the young sit in the cinema whistling
Where the young sit there are a thousand million
Impressed by neither king nor father.
Look at them
And you will remember