The Deluge and the Tree

Fadwa Tuqan

When the hurricane swirled and spread its deluge
of dark evil
onto the good green land
‘they’ gloated. The western skies
reverberated with joyous accounts:
“The Tree has fallen!
The great trunk is smashed!
The hurricane leaves no life in the Tree!”

Had the Tree really fallen?
Never! Not with our red streams flowing forever,
not while the wine of our thorn limbs
fed the thirsty roots,
Arab roots alive
tunnelling deep, deep, into the land!

When the Tree rises up, the branches
shall flourish green and fresh in the sun
the laughter of the Tree shall leaf
beneath the sun
and birds shall return
Undoubtedly, the birds shall return.
The birds shall return

[Fadwa Tuqan (born, Nablus, 1917; died 2003) is among the best pioneering Arab contemporary poets. She began with traditional forms, but became a leader in the use of the free verse in Arabic. Her works deal with feminine explorations of love and social protest. After 1967, she also began writing patriotic poems.]

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