Three Poems by Riyad Al-Saleh Al-Hussein

“Riyad dancing.” From Fadi Azzam’s Journey to the Graves of Three Poets (2016), with permission. 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. A flower from my body, every morning I pick for you and throw it into the streets For leaders, wisemen, and thieves to trample And a flower from my body, every evening I collect its crumbled petals and gather them for you, And I talk about all that has happened to me.   Ghada Alatrash, PhD, is an Assistant Professor and Director at the School of Critical and Creative Studies at Alberta University of the Arts in Calgary, Canada. * “His smile with Samar S”. Her current research speaks to Syrian art and creative expression as resistance to oppression and dictatorship. Once, I sat by you and cried My heart a burning field of rice My fingers hanging like the tongues of dogs on summer days. * “In the company of friends.” From Fadi Azzam’s Journey to the Graves of Three Poets (2016), with permission. Three Poems by Riyad Al-Saleh Al-Hussein October 22, 2022October 22, 2022 by mlynxqualey OCTOBER 22, 2022 — Syrian poet Riyad al-Saleh al-Hussein died on this day in 1981, at the age of 28. As Ibtihal Mahmood wrote back in 2018, his poetry remains “bold, invincible, and ‘simple like water, clear like a bullet’ — with a breathtaking prophetic trait immersed in blue.” Today, three poems, selected by Ghada Alatrash, to commemorate his life and writing. * Riyal Al-Saleh Al-Hussein died at 28 years of age in 1981. Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditTumblrWhatsAppPinterestTelegramPocketSkypeLike this:Like Loading… A Moon By Riyad Al-Saleh Al-Hussein Translated by Ghada Alatrash Everything that the shepherd has said to the mountain And to the river and the trees And everything that people have said and didn’t say In dancing arenas and on battlegrounds, I have told you. I wished to express myself with actions: To break a glass To open a window To sleep But I couldn’t What do I talk about after twenty-six years Or after twenty-six bullets fired into emptiness? The Dagger By Riyad Al-Saleh Al-Hussein Translated by Ghada Alatrash The man died A dagger in his heart A smile on his lips The man died The man promenades in his grave He looks up He looks down He looks around Nothing but soil Nothing but the shiny grip of the dagger in his chest The dead man smiles He pats the grip of the dagger The dagger is his only friend The dagger A dear memory from those above. From Fadi Azzam’s Journey to the Graves of Three Poets (2016), with permission. I am tired of talking, of debt, and work But I will never tire of freedom And here I am, dreaming of one thing or a few things: That the word becomes bread and grapes A bird or a bed, That I wrap my left arm around your shoulder And my right around the shoulder of the world And say to the moon: Take a photo of us. About the girl who sings at the window And the gravel that breaks under the wheels of the train About the cemetery that has been sleeping happily for centuries, I have told you. The Flag By Riyad Al-Saleh Al-Hussein Translated by Ghada Alatrash Take a look at him Just look at him His body had disintegrated A long time ago And still he carries the flag of freedom.

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