Umarming der Meridiane

Umarming der Meridiane
Hin und her
Her und hin

Wo bin ich zu Haus

In zwei Sprachen bildet sich der Satz
In zwei Welten greifen die Hände
Im Traum spricht in Deutsch mit mir die Mutter
In Arabisch mein sächsisch Weib
Von Meridian zu Meridian
Leichtfüßig springen meine Träume 
Weiten sich aus meines Baumes Zweige
Und jede Blüte trägt die Tätowierung
Alvertrauter Sonnenkarawanen
Die durchpulsen meines Baumes Adern

Ach
Meridiane ihr
Zweige von eichen und
Von Olivenbäumen
Umarmt euch fester
Und fester
In mir
Adel Karasholi

from Wenn Damaskus nicht ware: Gedichte (München: A1, 1999)

Reproduced by permission of the author and translator.
Embrace of the Meridians
Back and forth
Back and forth

Where am I at home?

In two languages, the sentence forms
From two worlds, the hands gather
In dream, my mother speaks with me in Deutsch
My Saxon wife, in Arabic
From meridian to meridian
With winged feet, my visions leap
And spring from the branches of my sapling
Each blossom bears the tattoo
Of sand-traced sun caravans
Which flow up through my tree’s limbs

O 
Meridians you
Branches
Oak and olive
Embrace each other tightly
And more tightly yet
In me.
translated by Suhayl Saadi
Adel Karasholi

Adel Karasholi, born in Damascus of Kurdish descent, was forced to flee Syria in 1959 when the Arab Writers’ Association, of which he was the youngest member, was proscribed. He settled in Leipzig in 1961 where he completed his PhD on Brechtian theatre. He lectured at Leipzig University from 1968 to 1993 and has since worked as a freelance writer and translator. In recognition of his achievements in poetry, Adel Karasholi was awarded the Chamisso Prize in 1992.

Read more about this poet
Suhayl Saadi

Suhayl Saadi, born in 1961 in England of Pakistani parents, was brought up in Glasgow, where he now works as a writer and doctor. His short-story collection The Burning Mirror was shortlisted for the Saltire Awards in 2001. The following year he edited Shorts 5: The Macallan/Scotland on Sunday Short Story Collection. His poems have appeared in various anthologies, including several of the pocketbooks series, and been commissioned by, among others, Nationale Vita Activa and the National Museum of Scotland. His novel Psychoraag was published in 2004.

Read more about this poet
About Umarming der Meridiane

M/Other Tongues, a poetry event which took place at the Scottish Poetry Library from 28 February to 2 March 2002, brought to Scotland two poets writing in German although it is not their mother tongue: Adel Karascholi from Syria, who has lived in Leipzig since the early '60s, and Dragica Rajčić from Croatia, who has lived in Switzerland since the outbreak of war in the former Yugoslavia.

They were paired with two Scottish poets who have also lived between two languages and/or cultures: Suhayl Saadi of Pakistani/Afghani descent who lives in Glasgow, and Christopher Whyte, of Irish descent, who writes in Scottish Gaelic and lives in Edinburgh.