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Poetry

Badr Shakir Al-Sayyab: A Profile from the Archives

[Badr Shakir Al-Sayyab. Source: Wikimedia Commons]

[”A Profile from the Archives“ is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Name: Badr Last Name: Al-Sayyab Father’s Name: Shakir Mother’s Name: Karimah Al-Sayyab Place of Birth: Jekor Date of Birth: 1925 Date of Marriage: 1955 Date of Death: 1964 Wife’s Name: Iqbal Taha Abd Al-Jalil Nationality: Iraqi Education: Bachelor’s degree from the Higher Institute for ...

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Kateb Yacine: A Profile from the Archives

[Algerian writer Kateb Yacine]

[”A Profile from the Archives“ is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Name: Kateb Last Name: Yacine Date of Birth: 1929 Date of Death: 1989 Place of Birth: Smondo - Constantine Wife’s Name: Zobaida Sharghi Category: Writer Profession: Playwright, novelist, and poet Kateb Yacine   Algerian national. Born in a town called Smondo near Constantine on 6 ...

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July Culture Bouquet

[Detail of Mouteea Murad's

July has been quite eventful and cruel. Neymar is out and the Caliphate is in and on. And we have a colorful bouquet for our readers. Elliot Colla examines the military-literary complex and the pervasive network of embedded iterature. Sonja Mejcher-Atassi curates a conversation between Charif KIwan and Akra Zaatarai. Jonathan Wright translates an excerpt from Amjad Nasser's novel, Land of No Rain. Soraya Morayef interviews Syrian novelist Khaled Khalifa. Gelare Khoshgozaran reflects on Nooshin Rostami's House of Strength. Daniella Rose King interviews Medrar.TV's Mai Elwakil in a post republished from online arts magazine Ibraaz, which is complimented by a Medrar.TV ...

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Sheikh Imam: A Profile from the Archives

[Sheikh Imam]

[”A Profile from the Archives“ is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.]  Name: Imam Muhammad Last Name: Issa Father’s Name: Ahmed Date of Birth: 1918 Date of Death: 1995 Nationality: Egyptian Place of Birth: Abu Al-Nanomros Category: Artist Profession: Composer – singer     [Sheikh Imam and Ahmed Fouad Negm] Sheikh Imam ...

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Embedded Poetry: Iraq; Through a Soldier's Binoculars

[Hooded Iraqi prisoner comforting his son. Image by Jean-Marc Bouju from pdnonline.com]

Critics and reviewers greeted Brian Turner’s Here, Bullet (Alice James Books, 2005) with effusive and unanimous praise. His poems were read as “dispatches from a place more incomprehensible than the moon. . . observations we would never find in a Pentagon press release.” I read the poems back then and was not impressed or moved. I was not surprised that these poems would elicit such praise. Although they were read and were circulating in a climate of timid, but rising opposition to the war (not for the right reasons though) their vision did not challenge or problematize, in any way, the reigning official narrative of and about the war. They did represent the visceral ...

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Sargon Boulus: An Attempt to Reach Beirut by Sea

[Artwork by Youssef Abdelke.]

An Attempt to Reach Beirut by Sea Sargon Boulus   One distant evening while I smuggle a fountain through the wreckage or bribe a night with a mediocre poem You bleed in the cold trenches of the ceasefire from your thousand battlefronts I wanted to lay out a path with a carpet of my breaths to where you still stand Your barricade a dove’s skeleton Your face a wounded paradise I wanted to burn a little between your hands No place dreams of my arrival and Life My frightened fugitive: When it opens its eyes every moment gets ready to be born in its cradle floating between my bones I wake upon foreign seas and my life braces itself against ...

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Badr Shakir al-Sayyab: Whorehouse

[Badr Shakir al-Sayyab (1925-1964). Image from as-Safir]

Whorehouse By Badr Shakir al-Sayyab   Baghdad? It’s a giant whorehouse. The singing girl’s glances Like a clock ticking on the wall In a train station departures hall. O corpse flung on the ground, Its worms are a wave of flame and silk.   Baghdad’s a nightmare, a rotten ruin Swallowed up by someone sleeping. Hours are days there, days are years, and a year is toil. A year is a wound boiling in the conscience.   Oryx eyes between Rusafah and the Bridge Are bullet holes dotting the surface of the moon, Which pours cascades of ashes From eye sockets onto Baghdad. The houses are all one; Paths pressed together like threads— A giant ...

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Three Poems by Ahmad Shamlou

[Ahmad Shamlou (1925-2000). Image from Wikipedia]

Three Poems Ahmad Shamlou (1925-2000) Translated from the Persian by Sheida Dayani   The Secret A secret was with me; I told the mountain. A secret was with me; I told the well.   On the lengthy path, Alone and lonesome, I told the black horse I told the stones…   With my old secret At last I arrived. I uttered no words You uttered no words; I was shedding tears You were shedding tears. Then I sealed my lips You read from my eyes...   The Fish Never has been my heart, I think, So crimson and warm: At the worst seconds Of this deadly night, I feel, Thousands of founts of sun Spout with certitude in my ...

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قصائد رلى الجردي

[لوحة للفنان العراقي محمود شبر]

  قصائد رلى الجردي     سريرُ النّارنجِ  أنا سريرُ النّارنجِ وهو يستفيق أتحلّى بالخناجرِ واسمي سوريَّة أنا طلاءُ الأرضِ والخبزُ المنفجرُفي الأفواهِ،  الجدران المجدَّلةُ  أنا اخضرارها أغرقُ بحِنّائي أنا أوردةٌ بنَفْس اللونِ بِذاتِ الطّول لا أفصلُ عيناً عن عين ولا جلدًا عن جلد لا أشبهُ الفصولَ أستعيرُ ضلوعَ الطّوفانِ

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محمود درويش: إلهي لماذا تخلّيت عنّي؟

بينما كان قراؤه، شرقاً وغرباً، يحتفلون بذكرى ميلاده في الثالث عشر من آذار، صادرت إدارة معرض الرياض للكتاب دواوين محمود درويش (1941-2008) بعد اعتراض محتسبين من هيئة الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر على ما وصفوه بعبارات ”زندقة وكفر وإلحاد.“ ويبدو أن قصيدة ”إلهي لماذا تخلّيت عني؟“ من ديوان ”ورد أقل“ كانت القصيدة التي أغضبت المحتسبين كما يظهر الفديو أدناه. نعيد نشر القصيدة هنا مع ترجمة بالانكليزية تحية للشاعر الغائب الحاضر ولحرية القراءة. وشملت مذبحة المنع والمصادرة ٤٢٠ كتاباً ”مخالفاً“ في كافة الحقول، ومن ضمنها دواوين بدر شاكر السياب وعبد الوهاب البياتي ومعين بسيسو. محمود درويش: إلهي لماذا تخلّيت عني؟ إلهي.. إلهي؟ لماذا تخلّيت عنّي؟ لماذا تزوّجت مريم؟ لماذا وعدت ...

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مَسْقَطُ الرّأْس

[لوحة للفنان طالب العلاق]

 ها أنتَ منذ سنوات طويلة كلما تفاقمَ شظفُ العيشِ وضاقتْ بك الآفاق شعرتَ أنّ ما يعوزك هو هنالك في البلاد التي سقط رأسك فيها، البلاد التي ترعرعتَ فيها. البلاد التي ألفتها وعرفتها. نعم، أنتَ تتظاهر أمام رَهْطكَ وأصهارِكَ أنك على ما يُرام وأنك تُمْسِك بإحكام بزمام حياتك. تبعث إلى أهلك بصورة لك تبدو فيها مسترخياً على صخرةٍ تُطعِمُ البَطّ وأخرى على ساحلٍ رملي مليء بالأصداف والقواقع الملونة. قطرات من رذاذ البحر سقطت على العدسة وبَدَتْ على وجنتك. وراءكَ في الصورة أناس يضحكون ويسبحون بين الموج. حين تتحدثُ مع أهلك عبر الهاتف، تُنَقْحرُ كأنك لا تعرف لغتهم. تتظاهر بأنك تنتمي إلى المكان ولكنك تعلم أن جدراناً كثيرة مرئية وغير مرئية تحيط بك. جدرانٌ تظهر فجأة  وتختفي تدريجياً ...

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كتب: مقابلة مع ديمة الشكر

[ضمن سلسلة "كتب“ التي تعنى بالإصدارات الجديدة، تنشر ”جدلية“ حواراً مع الناقدة ديمة الشكر وفصلاً من كتابها الصادر حديثاً ”الرنين المطوّق: العروض قديماً وحديثاً“، الشارقة، دائرة الثقافة والإعلام، ٢٠١٣.] جدلية: كيف تبلورت فكرة الكتاب وما الذي قادك نحو الموضوع؟ ديمة الشكر: تبلورت فكرة الكتاب خلال سنين  من قراءتي لعلم العَروض، الذي لم يقدني إليه إلا شغفي بالشعر الحديث حصراً، بشقيه الموزون (التفعيلة) وغير الموزون (قصيدة النثر). الشعر الحديث هذا هو أصل القصة كلها، إذ بدأت بقراءته منذ الصغر وكان "حديقتي السرية"، خلافا للقصيد أي الشطرين المقفى الذي كان حصة ما هو رسمي وقتها أقصد المدرسة. أعجبني الشعر الحديث، فبدأت أقرأ عن شعراءه وعنه، فاكتشفت ...

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منام الطفل السنجاريّ

منام الطفل السنجاري* هو الذي رأى كل شيء. هو الذي رأى، قبل أن ينام، جدّته تتضرّع إلى الله بيديها وشفتيها المشقّقتين. ولم يفهم لماذا لم يستجب ذاك الذي في الأعالي. هل تبخّرت الكلمات في طريقها إلى الأذن الإلهية؟ هل كان على جدّته أن تتضرّع بصوت أعلى؟ هل. . . ؟ هو الذي رأى كلّ شيء. هو الذي رأى، طيراً سماويّاً يأتي من كبد السماء. يهبط ببطء وكأن قمّة الجبل عشّه، وكأنّه صغيره. احتضنه واحتضن جدّته بحنوّ ثم حملهما، ومن معهما، وأخذ يرفرف بجناحيه العظيمين. هو الذي رأى كل شيء. هو الذي رأى. . . رجلاً ملثّماً يقف في ...

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Khalil Al-Sakakini: A Profile from the Archives

[”A Profile from the Archives“ is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Name: Khalil Last Name: Al-Sakakini Father’s Name: Qostandi Date of Birth: 1878 Date of Death: 1953 Place of Birth: ...

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Ahmed Fouad Negm: A Profile from the Archives

[”A Profile from the Archives“  is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Name: Ahmed Fouad Last Name: Negm Father’s Name: Muhammad Izzat Mother’s Name: Hanem Morsi Date of Birth: 1929 Place of Birth: Kfoor ...

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Saadi Yousef: At Kerak Citadel

 At Kerak Citadel   Always, at sunset, the castle walls begin to breathe. The war is over—it has been two or twenty centuries now. But then suddenly when night falls, the war comes back. Soldiers in their towers light their candle, far from the gusting wind And alone, they cry to themselves. The Messenger will come. Most definitely he will come, carrying his head on the tip of a spear. Perhaps he was exhausted and, in his long wait, forgot that spears blossom in the morning. Do you ...

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Port Said in the Evening, Port Said in the Morning

On Sunday, 1 May, 2005, on the eve of Sham al-Nessim, five decidedly non-mainstream musical groups celebrated the age-old Egyptian holiday before an audience of nearly five hundred people. Most of the audience members were from the cities along the Suez Canal and Cairo. State media was conspicuously absent; there was no one covering the event except us – and a photographer from a local Port Said newspaper. Like a religious sect celebrating long-forsaken rites, or the remaining members of an ethnic ...

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Muhammad al-Maghut: Roman Amphitheaters

Roman Amphitheaters Muhammad al-Maghut   1. Nothing is left of the revolution’s bells save echoes Nor of poetry’s horse save the bridle Nor of freedom’s road save fixed and flying checkpoints I have spent my childhood, youth and the entire length of the march to freedom and liberation, amid rifles, machine guns, chains, tanks, armored vehicles, armed patrols and combat air patrols, while every other step: Stop: ID Stop: Papers Stop: Passport Stop: What do you have in your suitcase? Stop: ...

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Fadwa Toukan: A Profile from the Archives

["A Profile from the Archives“  is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Name: Fadwa Last Name: Toukan Father’s name: Abul Fattah Agha Toukan Mother’s name: Fawzieh Amin Baik Date of ...

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Adunis, Mistranslated (Part One)

Adonis, Selected Poems. Translated from the Arabic by Khaled Mattawa. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010. Adunis (1930-) is one of the most influential and dominant Arab poets of the modern era and a perennial Nobel contender since the late 1980s. A number of his individual works have been ably translated into English in previous decades by Mirene Ghossein and Kamal Boullata, Samuel Hazo, and Shawkat Toorawa. More recently, Adnan Haydar and Michael Beard translated his most powerful and ...

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Mahmoud Darwish: My God Why Have You Forsaken Me?

While his readers were celebrating his birthday on the 13th of March, the authorities at the Riyad Book Fair confiscated Mahmoud Darwish’s books after members of the Committee for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue complained about “blasphemous passages.” One poem from his 1986 collection Fewer Roses was particularly infuriating as shown in this video. Here is a translation of the poem; a salute to the ever present Darwish and to the freedom of reading.   Mahmoud Darwish My god why ...

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قصائد المهمّشين

قصائد المهمّشين لإدواردو غاليانو إدواردو غاليانو من الكتاب الكبار في أميركا اللاتينية، غير أنه لا ينتمي إلى تيار الواقعية السحرية، بل إلى تيار أطلق عليه تسمية جديدة هي "الماركسية السحرية".  في هذه المختارات من ثلاثية ذاكرة النار يحاول غاليانو أن يوقظ تاريخاً من سباته، أو بالأحرى أن يستعيده من هامش دُفع إليه، على يد التوحّش الكولونيالي الغربي الذي فاق إجرامه التصور. يقول في مقدمة ثلاثية ذاكرة النار: "لستُ مؤرخاً. أنا كاتب يحبّ أن يساهم في إنقاذ الذاكرة المخطوفة لكل أميركا وخصوصاً ...

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Salah Faik's "What is a Poem?"

Salah Faik's "What is a Poem?" Translated by Suneela Mubayi   Me, vagrant? No: I took off my shirt and covered pebbles that felt cold As I came back from the cars of a stalled train i chanced on the ribs of cats upon benches, beneath them letters forgotten by lovers one of them left me a question: ”O poet, What is a poem?“ A poem? I did not know him nor how he imagined that I roam here sometimes It does not matter what is important is that a poem is to convince one‘s ...

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كتب: الرنين المطوّق: العروض قديماً وحديثاً

فصل من كتاب: الرنين المطوّق: العروض قديماً وحديثاً  استقرار التدوين لا يفصلُ بين العَروضيّ (342/954)  وابن عبد ربّه[1] (328/939) إلا سنوات قليلة، لكنّ المكانَ يفصلُ بينهما: فالأوّل مشرقيّ، والثاني أندلسيّ. زد على ذلك، أنّ نِظرةً إلى مُؤلَفيْهما في العَروض، لن تجدَ إلا الفَصْلَ بينهما ثانيةً: فالـ كِتاب في عِلم العَروض، لا يملكُ شيئاً من منهجيةِ تأليفِ العِقْد الفَريد. وإن كانَ لكِتابِ الأوّل جذورٌ وأصولٌ، احتوى عليها وزادَ فيها وأضافَ إليها، فإنّ كِتابَ الثاني يبدو مُنبتّاً فَريداً ...

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