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Articles tagged "Sorrow"

Water

I won't talk anymore, I won't say harsh words in the morning for a dream I embroider a flower of pearl on my bosom. I never knew, what you understood from my words, I spoke the forest's frightfulness the plain's tranquility silenced you slept a long sleep, I saw the dream. Unceasingly I spoke of a path: I'm water, I didn't forget my name I spoke of a mountain I came across while wandering; I didn't meddle with the world's affairs, the world does not...

Hai Phong

Yellow lamps, prostitutes' eyes Lines of sad provincial poems On a farewell afternoon, yellow leaves are falling Ocean winds have no ports or borders Ocean clouds go their own way Like dates, the harbors have no names In the Lap River the tide rises Fishing boats go and come Someone waits at the Binh ferry for someone A smile is blurred by cement-plant smoke The people of Hai Phong are like sea-wind and sun Off they go, with the dawn Their footprints cover the...

From behind a Closed Window

Is there, out there, a sky Sunny or windy or humid with autumn A sky at dawn, or a sunset sky? Are there, out there, human faces Strange or familiar Happy or hurting Friendly faces, or faces like beasts'? Is there, out there, a nothingness With no future, and no past? Was it I who drew the curtains across the window? Is there, out there, dark earth That buries all flesh that once was beauty That buries all glances, all shut lips? Is there only this place?...

At 30

The first ten years of my life, as the moon exposed its silent craters to my small city far below, the streets filled with shouts, gongs and drums drove out devils, my lame uncle cursed in the yard, and careless, I got kissed by the white rooster's beak. A little girl pulled her pants down before me, and once I ran into the ghost of a suicide on the stairs, but my father raised me high overhead and told me not to fear. Hailstones bounced their lives out on the walk to the...

Sun in an Empty Room, 1963

In this bedroom devoid of furniture and unpolluted the action is set. It is filled with sunlight admitted by the window and my footsteps resound as if someone were walking with me. I stand up straight, my eyes intent on something (on what is clearly unimportant). Floating in the nuptial glow of afternoon (the sun already waning) I noted the presence of a shadow, a pulse, a breath. It's just me: tending to be invisible, I rediscover myself and leave a sign. The...

Unity of Form

I've always received kingly presents. I got worn-out pans and rusted teapots, patched up bedsheets and unstitched shirts, books, missing pages ripped out for rollies and a piano with knocked-out teeth on the keyboard, chairs without legs and burnt out light bulbs, writing paper from the times of the Chinese cultural revolution, whatever you write on it-- blood stains appear though its tissue. People zealously granted me headless nails and spools without thread,...

The Veiler of All Deeds

NOTE: Born in 1968, Hamdy Abu Golayyel is of Bedouin origin and lives in Cairo. In keeping with a growing trend in Egyptian fiction, Thieves in Retirement-the novel from which this excerpt is taken-is set in a crowded Cairo apartment building, the various inhabitants of which offer a cross-section of Egyptian society, while highlighting a modern sense of displacement and urban alienation. Thieves in Retirement will be published by Syracuse University Press in 2006. People are...

When Clothes Were Small

NOTE: This poem is taken from a debut collection published in 2005, entitled Yesterday I Lost A Button. All of the poems in the book revolved around clothes-their personalities, their memories, and their desires. Only 24 years old at the time of the book's well-received publication, Fathy is a promising new name in Egyptian poetry. Neither thread had a desire to couple but they were forced and out of that union fabrics were born to a traditional, arranged marriage the...

Mrs. Saniya’s Holiday

Under the beam of light that fell from the one window of the room, darkening the rest of this particular place, Abla Saniya, the seamstress, starts up her machine aware of making use of the last thread of daylight before darkness takes over the room. Abla Saniya turns on the electric light whose cord comes through the same window, for which she pays five pounds every month and which she takes great care in collecting, since her income melts into the smiles of her youngsters and the...

I Look Around Me

With the alertness of a creature expecting its demise I usually look around me. Perhaps that is why my neck has a strength that does not match my body, and what is surprising is that I do not foresee live bullets from empty side streets or scissors- as a silent way of killing- but flashing glances from eyes I barely glimpse but that can do what must be done.

The Man Who Sold His Shadow

Here's a question we all ask ourselves at least once when we're young: Where does that starlight come from? It's been there before I was born, and before my grandmother, and her grandmother were born. So just how far is that star from Earth? The curiosity of children is insatiable. They'll grab a flashlight and aim it at the stars and think, This light will get there someday, won't it? When I'm dead, and my grandchildren are gone, and their grandchildren as well....

Nonmilitary Statements

1 Yes, I did write in my letter that I would wait for you forever I didn't mean exactly "forever" I just included it for the rhythm. 2 No, he was not among them. There were so many of them! More than I've seen in my life on any television screen. And yet he was not among them he has eyes and gestures and anxiety but he was not among them. 3 It has no carvings or hands. It always remains there in front of the television this empty chair. 4 I dream...

Groans

1 Here I am you alone In this mad, gaping Hell Here I am you alone and death altogether With its predators and its seers and the informers Perhaps I am arriving at The limit of my possibilities For you to arrive at the last Dream Flare up until you see me and Become complete until I see you My rose between two fires Inflaming me Hopefully I am inciting wisdom In this ruin I have tried To the end of the flower and the fire, Then, how have they isolated my...

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