Sunday, December 2, 2007

Raabi`a al `Adawiyya

I love this poem so much I had to translate it. It was written by Raabi`a al `Adawiyya, (Raabi`a as in "the fourth") a sufi mystic woman from Basra who died in 808 AD. It is beautifully sung by Sylvie Haddad on the CD by Nida' Abou Mrad: "Faithfuls of Love". There is an English and a French translation in the CD sleeve, but I didn't like them. I don't think the translator really captured the essence of the words. Or maybe I didn't.

"I have only known love when I loved you
and i have closed my heart to all but you
i have confided in you
you who can see
the heart's secrets
but remains unseen

I offer you my two loves:
a love of passion and a love you deserve
when I invoke your name
takes me away from all that is not you
And the love you deserve
is when you unveil yourself to me"

and here's the French translation (also mine):

"J'ai n'ai connu l'amour que quand je t'ai connu
Et j'ai fermé mon coeur a tous sauf a toi
Je me suis ouverte a toi
Toi qui peut voir
Les secrets du coeur
Mais qui reste invisible

Je t'offre mes deux amours:
Un amour de passion et l'amour que tu mérites
La passion
Quand j'invoque ton nom
Me soustrait a tout ce qui n'est pas toi
Et l'amour que tu mérites
C'est quand tu te révèles a moi"

C'est beau etre ecrit pour Dieu, ca m'émeut...

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