To Two Unknown Eyes

Here is one of favorite Arabic poem by Muhammad al-Fayturi. It is titled ” To Two Unknown Eyes”

Mistress…

Should these enamored words chance to meet your eyes

Or pass between your lips

Then forgive me; it was your eyes

In whose shade one evening I leaned resting

And snatched brief slumber

In their repose I caressed the stars and moon

I wove a boat of fancy out of petals

And laid down my tired soul

Gave to drink my thirsty lip

Quenched my eye’s desire.

***

Mistress…

When we met by chance as strangers meet

My sorrow too was walking on the road

Bare, unveiled

With heavy tread

You were my sorrow.

Sadness and loss

Silence and regret

Were embracing a poet consumed by struggle.

For poetry, mistress, is a stranger in my land

Killed by emptiness and void

My spirit trembled saw you

I felt suddenly as if a dagger delved into my blood

Cleanse my heart, my mouth

Prostrated me with soiled brow and supplicating hands

In the shade of your sweet eyes.

***

Mistress…

If suddenly we meet

If my eyes see those your eyes

High-set, green, drowned in mist and rain

If on the road by another chance we meet

And what is chance but fate?

Then would I kiss the road, kiss it twice

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16 thoughts on “To Two Unknown Eyes

  1. Chiara

    A beautiful poem–I wish I could read the original. Maybe in the future!

    Thanks for introducing me to the poet Muhammad Al-Fayturi. What little I read about him sounds as thought it fits with my literary and research interests.

    I do think he is using the classic metaphor of poetry as a mistress, or the muse of poetry as a mistress and lamenting the repression of poetry in his culture/society. But then I may have analyzed too many poems, and leaving it a the mistress as a mysterious bewitching woman is interesting too.

    Thanks again!

  2. nice one! whatever made you post this one? I see that two of the people above me are thinking of something, hahaha!!!

    seriously though, as a literature teacher I find myself agreeing with chiara, the poet is likening poetry to a woman by pointing out characteristics that he thinks the two share.

  3. Chiara,
    you are most welcome,, it is always great to have you here

    kathryn, Pari
    nop, the poem doesn’t mean that i am getting married soon.. it means that i have fallen in love ๐Ÿ™‚

    coralbead,
    Thank you,
    I tried to answer the question in your post i couldn’t find the answer.. !

  4. ooohhhh in love??? hehehe…welcome to the world of sleepless nights, glazed eyes, and fluctuating heartbeats!!!

    Oh, you didn’t get it? Read Hning/Alia’s answer, she got it right! It’s about an old person (rotting wood) reminding the younger generation not to disregard him/her, because, as a family authority, he or she has the power to stop or to act as an obstacle to whatever it is that the younger person wants to get or achieve. But in these times, a lot of us don’t mind the rotting wood anymore, and sometimes for very valid reasons!

  5. Chiara

    Murtadha–thank you and congratulations! Assuming it is reciprocal you will only experience the joys and fluctuations of the normally crazily in love (proven to be close to manic depression LOL ๐Ÿ™‚ )!

  6. coralbead,
    ๐Ÿ™‚ I couldn’t understand the last part
    “Oh, you didnโ€™t get it? Read Hning/Aliaโ€™s answer, she got it right! Itโ€™s about an old person (rotting wood) reminding the younger generation not to disregard him/her, because, as a family authority, he or she has the power to stop or to act as an obstacle to whatever it is that the younger person wants to get or achieve. But in these times, a lot of us donโ€™t mind the rotting wood anymore, and sometimes for very valid reasons!”
    my english isn’t that good so some times i got

    confused in understanding some sentences!

    Chiara,
    LOL, well that the beauty of love,, the fluctuations of the normally crazily ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I see I have to simplify things here…

    In many societies in Asia, including yours and mine, elders are seen to be authorities to be respected and obeyed. Disregarding or disobeying them would mean that they would make life difficult for you. They would try to stop whatever it is that you want to do in return for what you did to them.

    So in this saying, rotten or rotting wood would refer to a fallen tree that is slowly decaying. An old person is therefore “rotten/rotting wood” and indeed he can be an obstacle, just as an old tree that has fallen across the street would stop the traffic!

    Tell me if you got it already or not ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. And oh I forgot, what I meant by the last sentence is that a lot of us don’t mind the elders anymore, and sometimes we do have good reasons for doing that.

  9. Prometheus is reading my blog.. what an honor ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you for your kind comment. In fact, I have never written a poetry in my whole life. I have always tried but it never worked out with me.
    I love reading literature and poetry and I hope that would help me to get the talent of writing poems

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