New Poetry from Ghassan Al-Jibai: ‘You Call It a Grave, I Call It a Flowerpot’

* Now, I am living another life I live among the hatching chicks And in the seeds of wheat and basil In the jasmine as it climbs the mud houses And knocks on the old wooden windows, calling out: I am the smile of sadness O people Gift of the poor, the deprived, and the homeless God sent me specifically to smile at you To guard your dreams on your balconies. * Also read the poem in the original Arabic. Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditTumblrWhatsAppPinterestTelegramPocketSkypeLike this:Like Loading… Once released, he taught theater in Damascus, yet was banned off and on from teaching at the university, including after expressing support for protesters in 2011. She holds a PhD in Educational Research: Languages and Diversity from the Werklund School of Education, the University of Calgary, and a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Oklahoma. I do not speak—I do not see your beloved faces— But I hear you breathing above the soil And I feel the roots of chrysanthemums As they suck the dampness around me. * Ghassan al-Jibai (1952-2022) was an acclaimed poet and dramatist whose works included The General’s Coffee and Banana Fingers. After studying theater in Ukraine, al-Jibai returned to Syria, where he was imprisoned for a decade. I left the rain glistening like teardrops on the green grass I left the sun’s rays shining there, behind the mountain, And the blossoming trees as they bloom and flower in the gardens I forgot about the ugliness and meanness of humans I forgot about betrayal, injustice, villainy, and lies. His writing often returned to the subject of Syria’s notorious prisons. I am as I’ve always been Waiting for my relatives to declare me A martyr for freedom. * Dawn will not wake me after today And the evening will no longer blame me I’ve left in your hands All the affection and nobility between us: I left my small dreams in your care I left my share of the blue skies and light All that I possess of the remaining years of my life I gave to you. New Poetry from Ghassan Al-Jibai: ‘You Call It a Grave, I Call It a Flowerpot’ October 20, 2022October 20, 2022 by mlynxqualey By Ghassan Al-Jibai Translated by Ghada Alatrash I am as you’ve always known me Arms crossed over my chest Like a stone bridge Lying on my eternal back Putting my feet up Dirt fills my mouth and eyes And the smile never leaves me. Her current research speaks to Syrian art and creative expression as resistance to oppression and dictatorship. I left my warm finger in yours So that I may live in you As that is what I’d lived for. Ghada Alatrash, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Critical and Creative Studies at Alberta University of the Arts in Calgary, Canada. * And I sleep in the flowerpot You call it a grave And I call it a vase. * I left everything that I inherited from humanity over the centuries Love, knowledge, beauty, art, and freedom. He appears in Hala Mohammad’s 2006 documentary Journey into Memory. I carried with me the best memories of you And I forgave you. * I am far from you now, eyes cannot see me Close to you, untouched by fingers I am farther than the planet of silence And closer to the sanctuary of soil You call it a grave And I call it a flowerpot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *