A card to be their presidential meme.

Sometimes I am glad that you are gone
You would be startled to perceive  the strange new scene
That a nation educated  could choose one
A card to be their presidential meme.

Leonard Cohen hung on with his frail thread
But fell when  dreaming of the latest polls
And you, too, are  perhaps comforted  in death
You don’t have  to vote for  shipwrecked fools

Yet we who’re strong must live and hope for good.
The virtues of the noblest minds aid ours.
We must cultivate the tender buds.
And not assume ourselves to be mere cowards.

For one good  person, God would not destroy
The Sodom   we’ve  created in false joy.

Virtue must by terror  cruel be ruled

If they ordered children to be good
We thought it must be possible and right
So virtue must by will power   be oruled

We assumed that adults understood
Our feelings and our nature and our sight
When they ordered children to be good

Our selves were growing like the flowers in bud
Tender, wild and vulnerable to blight
When virtue was by will power  harshly oruled

Yet school is   a mere prison in the flood
Of growth towards the sun and its great light
Yet they ordered children to be good

By watching other people and their moods
We noticed how obsessively they cried
That virtue can by will power  be  ruled

They frightened us by saying when we died
God would judge us harshly   in his Pride
If they  believed that fear would make us good
Virtue must by terror  cruel be  ruled

And that can’t be right

Who I am

I wanted to be good and thought  that meant
I need only wish to make it so:
I was what I desired in my intent

I suffered from strange tortures  throughout Lent
I dropped a boiling kettle on my toe
I wanted to be good and thought  it  meant

On my birthday I was quite absent
Any joy, I thought saints did not show
I was what I desired in pure intent


I thought God  lived like Moses in a tent
I feared Hell and saw the rosy glow
I wanted to be good yet turmoil   rent

As I grew,  neurosis in me sent
The fires of hell  to cause my overflow
I was by men desired though not fluent

I realised too late how I don’t  know
Who I am nor whither I should go.
I wanted to be good and thought  that meant
I was what I desired with such intent

 Choose  the courage of the human heart

This life is just a film where we play parts
If you take a trip or bad luck hits
Choose  the courage of the  human heart

Love’s the root of all the good that starts
But  power will hide in love until it’s hot
This life  might be a film where we play parts

Love and power are sometimes both inert
Yet from real love, the human is begot
With  what damage to the  human heart?

In error then we falsely do deport
The souls  whose ignorance is  a woeful threat
This life  might be a film where we learn art

In Stalin’s time,  the people wrote reports,
Were spies in networks friendship made unthought
With death to  courage  and the  human heart

Of the love of mothers, we forget
Before we spoke she was the  heart we met
This life is  a  great play with many parts
To enhance the courage  of our shuddering hearts



Can poetry really be translated



” Mohamed Enani, who translates the Bard into Arabic, actually admitted to the latter. In an interview with the “Al-Ahram Weekly he said, “it was not until … for five months I was practically incarcerated in a room in a French hospital — that I gave the matter serious consideration.”

You’ll understand Enani’s challenge if you’ve watched a performance of the storm sequence in Shakespeare’s King Lear, wherein you can hear the violence of the words—a violence which complements and heightens the meaning. To come close to effectively translating that effect, you would not only have to carry over meaning, replete with all the wordplay and metaphor, but also replicate the aural impact in the new language. No doubt a lot of this gets lost.”