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The Owl’s Songs as Testimony Against Murderers
By Ghada Samman
Even in spring, the repressed have teeth.
It is true that the fish are dumb,
they don’t bark, but they do bite.
The owl does not really believe
the delusions of a beautiful summer night
and knows well the rebellion of the fish,
perhaps because it resembles its own silent one,
except for night songs here and there.
Listen, for the owl’s night songs
appear to be an alarm to the murderers,
and it is therefore feared by those
who have heavy consciences.
Evil people have no spring immunity,
for the owl condemns the nightly assassination
of the moon, and the fish do bite!
Selections from Ghada Samman’s forthcoming book, “Al-Raqs ma‘a l-Boom” (Dancing With the Owl). The Arabic version of this poem appeared in the weekly Al-Hawadeth.
Translated from the Arabic by Issa J. Boullata
This poem appeared in Al Jadid, Vol. 7, no. 35, (Spring 2001)