Friday Finds: Newly Translated Poems by Ahmed Shafie, Wadie Saadeh, and Muhammad Al Maghout

Poetry International Web has published various poems by Sa’adeh translated by Anne Fairbairn and published in the collection A Secret Sky (1997). Two poems: “A Life,” and “Because of a Cloud, Most Likely,” both translated by Ghada Mourad. Ahmad Diab
“Tattoo,” trans. Shafie was a 2014 International Writing Program resident; his translation of Russell Edson’s   Collected Prose Poems   was one of Muhammad Abdelnaby’s “favorite reads” of 2015. Three poems, trans.     safely   that it is the capital of the Kingdom of Bahrain and lies   according to Wikipedia   on the north coast of that country   and that it is a touch more than twenty-seven thousand kilometres in extent     no need to mention a dermatologist who is resident there according to the testimony of patients and friends and government records   and yet   despite this   despite it all
Shafie is an Egyptian poet, novelist, and translator, author of   And Other Poems   (2009) and the novel   The Creator   (2013). Moger
Last was a new poem by Ahmed Shafie, “pasta tree,” which ends:
what matters   whichever way the branches reach   is that we now have   in an ordinary village whose name can be found in government files   unlike Macondo     a tree linked to a young woman   a tree around whose trunk pasta with hot sauce has been thrown   and a young woman who lives on light and water   and a window which has not been closed   and a geography teacher who climbs each night to the roof of his house and burns a copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude   to find it once more the instant he descends back to his rooms   on a shelf without a particle of dust upon it   to its right the bound volumes of the Story of Civilization and The Character of Egypt to its left   deep in black grime     what can we say about Manama? Although at least two collections of al-Maghout’s work have been published in English — Joy is Not My Profession   and   The Fan of Swords,   trans. Moger has translated “Horror and sex” and “The orphan.”
From “Horror and sex”:
In the dark
deep stagnant dark
where the wind roars
and the wet trees howl like women raped
he encircles me with his arms
and sinks into my flesh like louse eggs. In 1973, he self-published his first collection, Evening Has No Brothers, reputedly selling handwritten copies on the streets of Beirut. While his poetry often returns to a Lebanese landscape, it is also relentlessly interested in the possibilities of a future. Also by al-Maghout:
An excerpt from   Joy is Not My Profession   (translator’s name too small to read)
“Roman Amphitheaters,” trans. May Jayyusi and Naomi Shihab Nye   —   both are out of print. After some itinerant years, Saadeh and his family moved to   Australia, in search of social justice, and   he’s been there since 1988. Sinan Antoon
“Shade and Noon Sun,”   translator not named
Next was Wadih Saadeh’s “The grass,” which opens:
He wants to go back. Over at Qisas Ukhra, translator Robin Moger has published several new poems:
First, he bought out two newly translated poems by the late Syrian poet and playwright Muhammad al-Maghout (1934-2006). Saadeh, born in Shabtin, Lebanon in 1948, moved to Beirut at   the age of twelve. As he wrote in the preface to his only English-language   collection, A Secret Sky   (1997): “Poetry is not just an expression of the past, it is an act of creation, a dream of renewal, the only way for me to recreate myself as I would wish to be.”
Also by Saadeh:
In Jadaliyya, you can find five poems translated by Sinan Antoon, from   Sa’adeh’s collection Who Took the Gaze I Left Behind the Door. In the wall of his house is a tuft of grass he wants to go back and see. Also in Jadaliyya,   “An Attempt to Reach Beirut from Beirut,” translated Suneela Mubayi. He’s also translated work   by Charles Simic, Billy Collins, Lucille Clifton, and others   into Arabic. Advertisements

Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditGoogleTumblrPinterestPocketLike this:Like Loading…‹ Hamad AlHamady’s ‘Is There More?’: New Emirati Thriller in TranslationCategories: poetry Guardian of the two stones and soul of their communion across the crack in that wall. The wall whose stones he laid stone against stone careful not to leave a space. But they found a soul and in a moment unattended a small space grew. Missing Slate   published “Hey Allen Ginsberg, I Think That the Fan is Rotating,” translated by Maged Zaher.