by Salah Jaheen (December 25, 1930 – April 21, 1986) has had a singular effect on development of colloquial Arabic poetry in Egypt.
Art work by Ehab Aziz
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