If I Must Die...

If I must die

by Refaat Alareer (1979 - 2023)

If I must die,

you must live

to tell my story

to sell my things

to buy a piece of cloth

and some strings,

(make it white with a long tail)

so that a child, somewhere in Gaza

while looking heaven in the eye

awaiting his dad who left in a blaze–

and bid no one farewell

not even to his flesh

not even to himself–

sees the kite, my kite you made, flying up above

and thinks for a moment an angel is there

bringing back love

If I must die

let it bring hope

let it be a tale

Award-winning actor Brian Cox recites Refaat Alareer's 'If I Must Die'

Sapos mi mas ded

Translated to Bislama by @specificisland

Sapos mi mas ded,

yu mas stap liv yet

blong talemaot stori blong mi

blong salem ol samting blong mi

blong pem wan pis kaliko

mo sam pis string,

(i mas waet wetem longfala tel)

so wan pikinini, sam ples long Gaza

taem hemi lukluk heven wetem ae blong hem

mo hu i stap wet long papa blong hem hu i bin lus long faea—

hu i no bin talem tata long eni man

no iven long ol mit blong hem

no iven long hem wan nomo—

i lukluk kaet, kaet we yu bin mekem blong mi, i stap flae

antap

mo smol taem nomo i ting se wan enjel i stap

mo karem lav i kambak

sapos mi mas ded

letem hop i kam

letem i kam wan stori


Select poem translation

A poem by Refaat Alareer.