Worth pondering...

This poem was written by Hector Klat in.... 1937.

O Syria, O sister of mine,
Think of the pleasantness
Of living side by side like this,
Of being distinct and separate.
Each of us has a destiny,
A serene heart, a grand soul.
I am Lebanon,
Whose forehead is crowned with amber and mallow
By the falling night.
As for you,
Be a land of beauty,
A sultaness of the tawny desert.
Be Syrian, and acknowledge
My right to be Lebanese.
Turn to the East,
And leave me the West
With its Mediterranean Sea
That witnessed the flourishing destiny
Of my ancestors.
Lulled by its waves,
My heart has bled.
Be Syrian, and acknowledge
My right to be Lebanese.
I have always lived
Fierce and undefeated;
It is your turn to be free today.
Let us join our efforts,
Your delicateness and my strength,
In order to create a better balance.
--A vibrant morning it is,
Where your new fate
Meets my ancient destiny.
Let us set off for tomorrow,
Hand in hand,
Driven by trust.
Be Syrian, and acknowledge
My right to be Lebanese.

Original text in French:

Ô Syrie, ô sœur,
Songe à la douceur.
De vivre ainsi côte à côte,
De vivre, distinct.
Chacun son destin,
Le cœur serein, l’âme haute,
Je suis le Liban
Dont le soir tombant
Ceint le front d’ambre et de mauve ;
Sois de ton côté,
Terre de beauté,
Sultane du désert fauve.
Sois syrienne – et me connais
Le droit d’être libanais.
Te tournant vers l’est,
Laisse-moi l’ouest
Et sa Méditerranée
Qui de mes aïeux,
Aux jours les plus vieux,
Vit fleurir la destinée,
À ses flots baigné,
Mon cœur a saigné.
Sois syrienne et me connais
Le droit d’être libanais.
J’ai toujours vécu,
Farouche, invaincu ;
À ton tour te voici libre.
Toi tendre, moi fort,
Joignons notre effort
Pour mieux faire équilibre.
— vibrant matin
Où ton neuf destin
À mon vieux sort se fiance !
La main dans la main,
Partons vers demain,
Soulevés de confiance…
Sois syrienne – et me connais
Le droit d’être libanais.


At Thursday, January 26, 2006 1:32:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...


Dans les pays arabes, c'est au petit frère de surveiller la grande soeur.

C'est à Beyrouth que va se décider l'avenir de la Syrie et non pas l'inverse. C'est mieux pour la Syrie et c'est mieux pour le Liban.

At Thursday, January 26, 2006 5:32:00 AM, Blogger Maldoror said...

In French it starts like a Baudelaire poem entitled: L'invitation au voyage. In it Baudelaire says:

"Mon enfant, ma soeur,
Songe à la douceur
D'aller là-bas vivre ensemble!

Aimer à loisir,
Aimer et mourir
Au pays qui te ressemble!

Les soleils mouillés
De ces ciels brouillés
Pour mon esprit ont les charmes

Si mystérieux
De tes traitres yeux,
Brillant à travers leurs larmes.

Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté..."

So as far as the genius behind Mr Klat's work, I would say that he could have done much better. All he did was remind me of Kindergarten and grade 1, and I quote:
"J'aime deux choses,
Toi et la rose,
La rose pour un jour..."
Hell you know the end!

Regarding what Mr. Klat had to say, well, I believe he has a point, but I would definitely not have put it in that particular mold.
But then again, I do not blame him; Lebanon in 1937 wasn't even independent. By writing this poem, he may have wanted to throw a rose at them, for lack of means to throw anything else. Whereas we are simply throwing them out for good.
All in all, roses leave a sweet impression. However, a kick in the behind, leaves a sour feeling of discomfort which is exactly what we want to convey.

At Thursday, January 26, 2006 11:42:00 AM, Blogger Delirious said...

Tais-toi Maldo, et arrête de critiquer ma traduction :P

Asslan le titre du texte en français était: Invitation à la paix.. c'est tout te dire!

At Thursday, January 26, 2006 5:59:00 PM, Blogger Joumana said...

How very interesting, in the face of those who want to rewrite history...

At Friday, January 27, 2006 9:44:00 AM, Blogger Maldoror said...

I didn't criticise your translation, I only talked about the French original version. Anyways, now that you said it is your translation, I might have a few things to add :P hehehe

At Friday, January 27, 2006 6:34:00 PM, Blogger Xylocaine said...

Nothing changes...eh....60 years and counting!!!!

At Friday, January 27, 2006 7:16:00 PM, Blogger Sabri Hakim said...

lovely, too bad i cant read the original in french

At Saturday, January 28, 2006 10:21:00 AM, Blogger a h m a d said...

Thanks Delirious for the translation, you know how much I try to avoid reading in French. ;)

At Sunday, January 29, 2006 11:15:00 PM, Blogger DareDevil said...


At Monday, January 30, 2006 1:50:00 PM, Blogger neruda said...

not interesting at all ...
syria is a victim ..just like us ..
perhaps you should write something about the corrupted leaders we have ....

At Thursday, February 02, 2006 9:20:00 PM, Blogger zadigvoltaire said...

Syria my poor sister, what are you going to eat this winter
When you spend all your buns, on your late president's sons

Syria where is your will to fight, did you lose it in the Golan Heights
Or was it imprisoned for the Arab cause, while your leaders traded with your foes

Tiny Lebanon is yours your leaders made you dream, while they raped your consciousness and guzzled cherries and cream
My freedom and independence are sacred, and I will respect yours even if you stand internationally naked


Don't worry I see it coming from afar, I see the end of your infamy and the last dance of your lanky Bashar

At Friday, February 03, 2006 7:24:00 PM, Blogger zeid koudsi said...



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