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Planet Sarajevo

Location: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

This poem was displayed in the war museum. It is a very moving portrait of the city.

Listen
To the breathing of
Planet Sarajevo

Listen
to the Girl crying:
“Death, don’t take me along.”

How many times have we
Uttered
with tears
our ardent prayers for peace?

Death cares not for the girl’s tears,
Death cares not for human prayers

Listen
To the breathing
of Planet Sarajevo

See how full of bloom
Planet Sarajevo is!

Can’t you hear
the blood
pulsating through its veins?

People go-
to have their teeth filled

People go-
to take children for a haircut

People go-
to buy newspapers
the one over there
breeds pigeons.

This one, see,
cannot live
without crossword puzzles

See
how people go
carried away with work!

See how all of them
have aged overnight!
What has made them, all at once
so- beautiful?

On Planet Sarajevo
I saw a man-
he was smoking a pipe- and rushing
by!

On Planet Sarajevo
I saw a man-
eating- and weeping

I saw a little girl,
on Planet Sarajevo,
in the park which was not there
picking up flowers that were not
there!

Death is a thorough reaper,
in vain the girl’s tears,
in vain every prayer for peace!
In the universe-
its name is Bosnia-
a little girl,
with the hand which she has not,
picks up flowers which are not!

This is not war
-in war, there are flowers
everywhere-
this is the struggle from the
Beginning of Time!

In it two principles are fighting
-from the Beginning of Time
to the Day of Judgement-
the principle of Good
and the principle of Evil!

Let there never be an end
to the struggle between Good and
Evil!

Should Good
disappear from the World?

Should the Girl
kiss the hand
of Death the Reaper?
Don’t you hear her crying:
“Death, don’t take me along?”

Don’t cry, little girl
Don’t cry, daughter!

Never, never
will the end come

to the struggle between Good and Evil.

-Abdulah Sidran Sarajevo, February 1, 1994

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