Damascus

from by Omar Offendum

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about

This piece is a translation of 'The Damascene Poem', written by the famed Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nizar_Qabbani).

lyrics

Chorus:

Arabic recitation of the first couplets from Nizar Qabbani’s “Damascene Poem”

هذي دمشقُ.. وهذي الكأسُ والرّاحُ
إنّي أحبُّ... وبعـضُ الحـبِّ ذبّاحُ

Verse 1:

This is Damascus
& this is a glass of spirit (comfort)
i love - but im aware of the fact that
certain kinds of love
can slaughter you in their wrath
I'm a Damascene being dissect me into halves
& have not but grapes & apples fall in your path
open my veins with scalpels
hear ancestral chants
if heart - transplants can
cure some of the passionate
why does mine stay torn in half then?
minarets cryin tears of absence
and like trees their souls speak
years have passed them
(you can hear them askin)
for civil rights to live amongst
tiers of jasmine
as house cats take naps - relaxin

"Es la cosa mas triste de este mundo
Y asÌ me siento yo por ti solo por ti"
(and this is how i feel for you)

Chorus:

Arabic recitation of the first couplets from Nizar Qabbani’s “Damascene Poem”

هذي دمشقُ.. وهذي الكأسُ والرّاحُ
إنّي أحبُّ... وبعـضُ الحـبِّ ذبّاحُ

Verse 2:

coffee grinders cracklin
childhood reminders - back when
how can i forget?
when my reaction...
to cardemom's strong fragrance
yet & still finds attraction
as proud fathers wait
for a sweet daughter's face
im askin...
if my roots - heart - & language are here
how am i supposed to make myself
any more clear?
is clarification necessary
with love so dear?
(so much so that there was no fear...)
how many damascene bracelets were
sold for this poetry here?
apologizin to the willow
wonderin' if my little siblings can hear
my parts been scattered across coasts for years
lanterns on horizons (floatin...
saddened eyes had lost their hopes to see her...)

"Es la cosa mas triste de este mundo
Y asÌ me siento yo por ti solo por ti"

(and this is how i feel for you)

Chorus:

Arabic recitation of the first couplets from Nizar Qabbani’s “Damascene Poem”

هذي دمشقُ.. وهذي الكأسُ والرّاحُ
إنّي أحبُّ... وبعـضُ الحـبِّ ذبّاحُ

Verse 3:

tossed around in shoreless oceans
only to be hunted down by devils & demonic ghosts
i battle garbage rap with prose & (rapid) flows
thats apropos until nawar is open to em
(thats fa sho!)
identity of Arabness resemblin a widow though
is there no festivus for the rest of us history books can show?
what will remain of poetry's originality if so
many a brown-nosing liar gets to have complete control?
how we gonna ever write a verse to spit
when killers still approach?
i bore the burden of my words upon my back until i grieved...
what shall remain of poetry when it is finally relieved?
(the saddest thing in this world - my lady's - is knowin that we
were meant to be from the very start but that we'll never be...)

"Es la cosa mas triste de este mundo
Y asÌ me siento yo por ti solo por ti"
(& this is how i feel for you)

Chorus:

Arabic recitation of the first couplets from Nizar Qabbani’s “Damascene Poem”

هذي دمشقُ.. وهذي الكأسُ والرّاحُ
إنّي أحبُّ... وبعـضُ الحـبِّ ذبّاحُ

credits

from SyrianamericanA, track released July 4, 2010
Prod. by Sandhill

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Omar Offendum Los Angeles, California

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