Monday, August 16, 2021

How long will this separation and this hatred last?

Thursdays are traditionally "poetry night" in the city of Herat when men, women and children gather and recite both ancient and modern poems.

I'm still working through the Arabian Nights at the rate of one night per day. Night 289 finishes with a girl reciting a poem at a dinner party.

How long will this separation and this hatred last 

Until the joy that has passed returns to me again? 

We lived together in the same country; 

In our enjoyment we thought the envious paid no heed. 

But time betrayed us, forcing us to part; 

Leaving our dwellings like a barren waste. 

You censure me; do you want me to be consoled? 

My heart, I see, will not obey your voice.

Abandon blame and leave me with my love. 

For love is not yet emptied from my heart. 

You broke your oath and chose another love, 

But, though you are away, my heart will not forget.

Poignant doesn't begin to cover it, the day after Kabul fell.

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