On Poetry and Culture Shock

Happy (late) birthday, Zifra

Zifra gave me that cute little button on the sidebar that takes you to my other blog, the one about belly dance. And it was his birthday on Tuesday, so I told him I would give him a poem as a bithday gift. Considering what I know about him, a poem that hints atheism on the author might be to his taste.

Technical nota: this is a Ghazal. It is a Persian-then-Arabic form with a series of 6 to 12 couplets. Lines 1 and 2, and all even lines, end with the same word. Lines should all be the same lenght. The author must mention herself (either by name, "Nia says, Nia does", or in the first person). Everything else can be nearly free. Scroll down for the English version.

Luz refractada da color al cielo.
Del negro al rosa, misterioso cielo.

Demasiada luz roba las estrellas,
Las ciudades se han quedado sin cielo.

Posponer los problemas tomando el sol,
Prohibida la pena si está azul el cielo.

Gris plomo de nieve, gris claro de lluvia:
No hay otro destino escrito en el cielo.

Si existe un Dios, nos mira desde lejos.
No es un consuelo imaginar el cielo.

El granjero no ve ninguna nube.
A sus plantas secas las mata el cielo.

El exiliado ve las constelaciones.
Alumbran su casa desde otro cielo.

Los aviones vuelan de aquí al futuro.
Yo no los alcanzo, mirando al cielo.

Refracted light gives its colour to the sky.
Black down to pink, mysterious sky.

Too much light steals the stars.
Cities have lost their sky.

Put off your problems and sunbathe.
Banish all sorrow if there is blue in the sky.

Dark grey for snow, light grey for rain:
Don’t read any other destinies from the sky.

If there is a God, He’s so far away.
No comfort from an old man in the sky.

The farmer looks in vain for a cloud.
His dry plants are killed by the sky.

Exiles gaze at the constellations.
They light up his home on a different sky.

Airplanes fly from here to the future.
I cannot reach them as I stare at the sky.

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