Poem: LA-PI-TA

Nizar Sartawi is a Palestinian poet and translator committed to building bridges between nations of the globe through poetry and poetry translation. He believes that poetry, like other arts, has the power of bringing people together.
Mr. Sartawi is a member of numerous local, Arab, and international literary and cultural organizations. He has participated in a number of Arab and international poetry festivals and readings.
Mr. Sartawi has published more than 25 books. His poetry and translations in both Arabic and English have been anthologized and published in literary journals, magazines, newspapers, and literary websites in different parts of the world. Nizar Sartawi was awarded the first prize in translation by Al-Nour Literary Organization in 1913, Naji Naaman Award for Creativity in 2018, and Jerusalem Intellectuals Forum Honorary Award in 2019.”

Nizar Sartawi
Poet, Jordan

The daring men traversed the ocean  
paddling and singing their homesick ballads 
to lull to sleep 
the weighty waves 
and winds and whales. 
 
But when the jealous gods of the sea
set eyes upon the venturesome seafarers
they hurled their mighty thunderbolts  
to strike the light narrow canoes 
and sent them down the bottomless waters. 

Since then
the white bubbles 
ascending from 
the fathomless Pacific depths 
have eased their forlorn hymns
with a merry refrain: 

LA-PI-TA 
PI-TA 
LA-PI-TA

to keep the travel, dance, and song

Written by: Nizar Sartawi, Poet, Jordan