A Vibrant World | The poetic voices of Arab women from Algeria to Palestine

A Vibrant World | The poetic voices of Arab women from Algeria to Palestine
Bethlehem from the Church of the Nativity, Palestine, 1900-20                    Bethlehem, 1880

 Maram Masri  (Syria)

   Small Sins

Hold my hand
and take me to the heart
for I prefer your home,
oh poetry.

.                                            ~

Fatima Mahmoud  (Libya)

 What was Not Conceivable

The patrolman
the first line.
sucks out the blood of language,
strips the alphabet
of its dots
and tears out
the plumes of speech.

 Apamea, Syria, early 20th CE
Women and children draw water from Mary’s well in Nazareth, Palestine, Dec. 7 1946


Fawziyya Abu-Khalid

Two Little Girls

I hang on to the hem of her dress like a child hanging

On to the string of an immovable kite

I climb her braid like a squirrel climbing a hazelnut tree

In the late afternoon we jump from one world to another

we play in the wind

like sparrows that opened the door to the cage

( )

We share one apple and innumerable dreams

We paint a paradise of questions on the face of the desert

We spray each other with the water of the mirage

accompany a fleeting doe

Palestinian2Bwoman2Bfrom2BNazareth252C2Bwearing2Btraditional2Bcostume252C2B1910Ramallah2B 2B25D825B125D825A725D925852B25D825A725D9258425D9258425D925872B2B2BRamallah2Bwoman2Bdressed2Bin2Btraditional2BThobe2Bunder2Ba2Bfig2Btree252C2B1920s
 Woman from Nazareth, with traditional costume, 1910                           Woman dressed in traditional Thobe under a fig tree, Ramallah, 1920s

Suheir Hammad

Of woman torn

did her skin smell

of zataar her hair of

exploded almonds

between the olive trees

her father lit the match brothers poured the flammable

the women they watched the women they tucked

their sex away under

skirts under secrets

( )

family pride laid

between her thighs

honor in her panties

and no oslo accord

or camp david signing

could free her sex

from its binding

( )

where was he when they found the swelling

of your belly proof of humanity

where was he when they stuck fists up

inside you to prove you loose

PALESTINE2B 2BBethlehem252C2B1890s2B2528early2B20th2Bc.25292B322B2528Barley2Bharvest2529
Barley harvest, Bethlehem, 1890s
Drawing Water  Bethlehem, Palestine, Sept. 2 1938


Fadhila Chabbi

The Blind Goddess

And the blind goddess, when we touched her
like a twinkling of the eye.
On the dry shore her hurried gait…
And in her face when sun and moon quarreled,
and in her step when the sea pecked a drop of life
the water receded—having become pregnant—for a time.
How can the letter be Seeing, Omnipotent.
a peer to the bleated, jealous god.
And in the blind goddess when she dimmed
and the earth came to be
and it was the insolence of the ages.

Jericho2B 2B25D825A325D825B125D9258A25D825AD25D825A72B2B 2BA2BPalestinian2Bwoman2Bof2BJericho2Bwith2Bwater2Bjar252C2B1967Palestinian2Bwoman2Band2Bchild252C2BJerusalem252C2BPalestine252C2B1920.
A Palestinian woman of Jericho with water jar                     Woman and child, Jerusalem, Palestine, 1920

Mohja Kahf

The First Thing

I left the world of Abraham

jugs sealed with cork,

cooking-grease fires

Sarah’s careful kitchen fires

The horizon is a razor

I moved over, severing

slates of earth,

sediment of ancient seas


                                  The Poetry of Arab Women, edited by Nathalie Handal, 2015
Port of Jaffa
Fishermen at Lake Tiberias, Palestine                                                       Tiberias, Galilee, 1900-20

Visibility | The Poetic Voices of Arab women from Algeria to Palestine

2 thoughts on “A Vibrant World | The poetic voices of Arab women from Algeria to Palestine

  1. Είναι οι πόθοι μιναρέδες στυλωμένοι

    Λάμψεις του μουεζίνη στην κορφή τους

    Φωτοβολίδες των κραυγών της οικουμένης

    Πυγολαμπίδες σε συρτάρια κορασίδων

    Που κατοικούν σε ακρογιαλιές μέσα σ' επαύλεις

    Και τρέχουν με ποδήλατα σε κήπους

    'Aλλες γυμνές άλλες ημίγυμνες κι άλλες φορώντας

    Φορέματα με φραμπαλάδες και μποτίνια

    Που στίλβουν την ημέρα και την νύχτα

    'Οπως τα στήθη τους την ώρα που βουτάνε

    Μες' στον αφρό της θάλασσας.

    Αφρός / Ανδρέας Εμπειρίκος / Ενδοχώρα // 1934-1937 / εκδ. ''Το Τετράδιο'' / 1945


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