Libmonster ID: UK-1476
Author(s) of the publication: S. V. PROZHOGINA

Keywords: France-Tunisia, poetry, Tahar Bekri, radical Islamism, terrorism

Tahar Bekri sent me these poems last March, on the day when Islamists in his native Tunis staged a massacre in the walls of the National Museum. Although these poems were written on the occasion of another bloody atrocity -the massacre of Charlie Hebdo journalists and police officers, committed in January 2015 in the center of Paris. There, the poet has been living in exile for many years, continuing to consider himself a son of his Homeland, to which he devoted all his work.

The terrorist attack in Paris forced people to take to the streets, gather in the square, cry from the pain caused by injustice. The Paris events are ambiguous, the mockery of religion does not arouse sympathy, and the people who participated in the march to the Place des Nations were not a homogeneous "crowd". Everyone had their own ideas about the reasons for the terrorist attack, but all were united in their desire not to become hostages of Evil, not to doom themselves to the possibility of prolonging the chain of murders.

Takhar Bekri, who has written remarkable books of poetry*, translated into dozens of languages , is a mostly lyrical poet, keen on the search for"open horizons". He, looking for the happiness of finding a "soul harbor", longs for the "fragments of the heart" left in the "ocean of wanderings", for the opportunity to swim to the "coast of hope". He longs to see it sprout both on the land he left behind (after being imprisoned because of his opposition to the regime established in Tunisia after Bourguiba), and on the land he found, dreaming of Freedom...

Takhar Bekri is now on the side of those who need the "spring" of new revolutions as a flowering of hope for the opportunity to see the fulfillment of the slogan "Freedom, Equality and Fraternity" in life, to find humanity.-


* For the work of Takhar Bekri, see: Prozhogina S. V. Poeziya Takhar Bekri. Frantsuzsko-russkaya antologiya, Moscow, 2002; and also an article: "Flowers of hope grow up in a foreign land" / / Asia and Africa Today, 2013, N 8. (Prozhogina S. V. 2002. Frantsuzsko-russkaya antologiya. Moscow; Prozhogina S. V. 2013. I na chuzhbine vyrastayut tsvety nadezhdy // Aziya i Afrika segodnya, N 8) (in Russian)

page 68

and get rid of the awareness of their "alienness", "second-rate", "marginality".

Echoes of grief can be heard in the "Republic Square". But there are also echoes of anger, fatigue and uncertainty that democracy and the republic can protect, and not crush, a person who is broken by the weight of injustice, crushed by the riots, violence and threats that prevail in the world... But most importantly, the poet did not lose hope in the power of the Word, which, as before, can become the "beginning of all beginnings" and rid the world of evil, giving it the joy of life. Appealing to the hearts of people and tuning them to the wave of the "Sacred Hymn of Life", the poet inspires hope for the triumph of a just human community, for freeing people from loneliness and fear, for clearing the Earth of" predatory " traces of violence and senseless attempts to turn a person into a slave who will accept the rampant terrorism and the triumph of Death.

Of course, the reader will be right if he says: poems, like music, do not need to be "told". We need to hear them.

TAKHAR BEKRI

(France - Tunisia)

Republic Square

  
  
   
  But there are beads of sweat on my forehead,  
 Like sap running down a tree  
 that has been skinned. 
  
 But perhaps this is 
  darkness of the night,  
 From which my eyelids  
 And which flows like a wave,  
 sticks to me, binds 
  my step... 
  
 Or maybe it makes me  
    
 When the crowd crushes   
 ,Like a wanderer 
  in the desert,  
 Heavy dust nailed 
  to a cold dune. 
  
 Or maybe it's the asphalt 
  running down, 
 Flowing through me like a black river, 
 Crushed by the weight 
  tanks, 
 want to kill Spring 
  
 Or drown out all prayers,  
 Destroying all mausoleums,  
 Pecking at all shrines  
 Predatory beaks of cannons... 
  
 And I go on, faceless,  
 Among the pitiful smiles 
  frozen,  
 Or for their disappearing trail- 
 go, and my eyes go blind.  
  
 Oh, how many shells are needed  
 To make the tears 
  dry, 
 To dry all the ink,  
 To drown out the voice of the heart. 
  
 To  
   in the ground,  
 Turn city lights 
  into a shroud,  
 Envelop the   
 . 
  
 The river is also in mourning,And  
 in the darkness its waters are not visible,  
 Neither its sandy bed,  
 Nor its rocky rapids. 
  
 And I continue  
 In the sleeplessness of the misty night,  
 Struggling with the venomous viper  
 squeezed my throat with bitterness. 
  
 And the wounds of others are burning,  
  The pain of hellfires 
   responding,  
  Not subsiding from the emissions of anger,  
  Their red-hot ashes. 
  
 My brothers and sisters, 
   I walk among you and weep.  
 My footsteps are quiet on the ground 
 , Drowned out by the howling of the vampires  
  Who feed on the blood of the dead today 
  . 
  
 But we know that everything is in our hands 
  .  
 And we will take our feathers,  
  Like bayonets we will raise them higher,  
 We will merge them with the rays of the sun. 
  
 And we will sing at the bright 
   dawn  
  That will flood the Earth with its joy 
    
 , The Sacred Song of the New 
   Spring,  
  The Hymn to Freedom finally found 
  . 
  
 



Translated from French by S. V. PROZHOGINA, Doctor of Philology, Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences


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