Raficq Ab­dulla

The London Magazine - - NEWS -

On Read­ing a Trans­la­tion of Sap­pho’s poem on Jeal­ousy

‘He seems to me equal to gods that man who­ever he is who op­po­site you sits and lis­tens close to your sweet voice.’ - Sap­pho

I look at you and him cre­at­ing laugh­ter, Clearly in love, at least to me out­side, I look and try to read the words your eyes Speak to him, to hear his close lis­ten­ing;

Your mu­tual laugh­ter is like mu­sic from The gods who look down and smile at you In­dif­fer­ent to my re­frain­ing heart that mutely Flies to­wards you un­known, crusted with jeal­ousy;

My tongue is bro­ken, a fine pen­cil of fire Draws across my skin, my sight is turned, My ears drum with rac­ing blood that owns me, I am en­slaved by your cou­pled hap­pi­ness and laugh­ter;

Skimmed with icy sweat, pierced to death yet liv­ing still, Gan­grene has taken my senses, I want to look away But can­not, you are in the grasp of this golden man, I have be­come im­pov­er­ished, yet I want to dare ...

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