Other Language
Happily He Entered Death
Translated by: Lena jayyusi and Naomi Shihab Nye

That was he
He was my friend
whose body opened to receive the blade
He was neither mad nor rash
He was one
who would conquer the world with words
He placed a signpost for the procession of palm trees
It has come to an end
This was no misgiving he expressed, nor anticipation
He established a climate for his words
and threw his body into the path of brass feet

He said
I will end with the palms
He heard the rain weep,
the earth sob
He imposed his village on the city
binding stones together with grass
His timeless eyes merged his beloved with the homeland,
He set up for her a palace of words

He would charge in, move directly,
his conversation was a language teaching speech
and he was also my friend.
Enamoured with conquering
and differences
He molded his creatures rapidly
rapidly he would proclaim rapidly act
and rapidly die
When he turned to ask, the blade struck him
He opened wide his body and the murder rushed in
as though he could not bear a deathless dying
and so he died

That was he
my friend who was still young
for love, for poetry, for his homeland
still young for death
but he died
That was he
whose friend I was
and still am.