Translations

"Two Visitors" by Abdulla Pashew

TIR staff

Translated from the Kurdish by Mewan Nahro, Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse, and the author

I host a dusky visitor
I do not dare picture her as my motherland
but she is as sweet
Her voice is the shelter of an arbor
and the meadow of her breast
smells of sweet clover 

"You think" by Abdulla Pashew

TIR staff

Translated from the Kurdish by Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse and the author

You think
my poems
are simple as roadside stones
You think
my words
are not astronauts, but earthbound children
What can I do, my heart?
Images and thin ideas
shimmer for a moment
and die like fireflies
in the black nights of gardens and orchards
I can only catch those
which tire and fall
like autumn leaves  

14.07.1993
Moscow

"Martyr" by Abdulla Pashew

TIR staff

Translated from the Kurdish by Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse and Haval Mustafa

Last night, my sleep was fitful
I crept outside
my mind throwing thunder
Lifting my head to the sky
I saw naked stars
clusters and clusters, thousands and thousands
Around the roosting swan
they were scattered like pomegranate seeds 

New Translations of Abdulla Pashew

TIR staff

Abdulla Pashew (b. 1946) is a true heir to the tradition of Kurdish poetry. He dedicates himself to the sounds of each poem, drives his reader across a range of subject matter. He completed his graduate work, a Masters in Pedagogy and a Doctorate in Philology, in Moscow and began his academic career as a professor in Tripoli.

Fluent in Kurdish, Russian, and English, he is also a prolific translator. When he isn’t writing poems, he is bringing Whitman and Pushkin into Kurdish. He loves, as many poets do, that the act of translating enlarges the capacity for expression in his mother tongue.

Arguably the most popular contemporary Kurdish poet, he draws audiences in the thousands when he reads publicly. Each of his eight collections of poetry has been so sought after that bootleg copies proliferate.