Middle Eastern Poetry
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Hello dear stranger. This blog is a sanctuary - a sanctuary for the long forgotten. It contains a collection of poems from the Middle East. Do not be surprised by what you read. Do not despair. Keep an open mind. Enjoy. hit counter
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Poetry is born in Iraq: be Iraqi to become a poet my friend.. I remember al-Sayyab. Poetry is experience and exile: twins. ‘Iraq, Iraq, no place but Iraq’. - Mahmoud Darwish
*From Left to Right; Palestinian Poet Mahmoud Darwish, Iraqi Poet Mohammad Mahdi Al Jawahiri, and Palestinian Poet Samih al Qasim - 1969
Poetry is born in Iraq: be Iraqi to become a poet my friend.. I remember al-Sayyab. Poetry is experience and exile: twins. ‘Iraq, Iraq, no place but Iraq’. - Mahmoud Darwish

*From Left to Right; Palestinian Poet Mahmoud Darwish, Iraqi Poet Mohammad Mahdi Al Jawahiri, and Palestinian Poet Samih al Qasim - 1969

(Source: isqineeha, via trailofleaves)

Love in me stirs and I bound like a deer just to see my lady’s eyes. Her mother, uncle, father, and brother are gathered around her when I arrive. I look but turn away. As though she had never driven me wild. Afraid of them while I long for her; like a woman mourning her only child. - Yitzhaq Ibn Khalfoun *A key transitional writer of the second generation, Yitzhaq Ibn Khalfoun was born in Spain, c. 965, to parents who had immigrated from North Africa.  Ibn Khalfoun is often called the first professional Hebrew poet, that is, a poet who produced poems on demand for pay. His limiting role notwithstanding, he expanded the scope of the new Andalusian Hebrew poetry, introducing a fuller range of the Arabic elements… 
Love in me stirs and I bound like a deer just to see my lady’s eyes. Her mother, uncle, father, and brother are gathered around her when I arrive. I look but turn away. As though she had never driven me wild. Afraid of them while I long for her; like a woman mourning her only child. - Yitzhaq Ibn Khalfoun *A key transitional writer of the second generation, Yitzhaq Ibn Khalfoun was born in Spain, c. 965, to parents who had immigrated from North Africa.  Ibn Khalfoun is often called the first professional Hebrew poet, that is, a poet who produced poems on demand for pay. His limiting role notwithstanding, he expanded the scope of the new Andalusian Hebrew poetry, introducing a fuller range of the Arabic elements… 
I glance at time’s conditions with an eye which sees truth is truth and lying is lying. Whom can one trust with one’s afflictions? And where can the pure and noble find friends? When people, save a few, have become wolves wearing sheep’s clothing? - Abu Firas Al-Hamdani
I glance at time’s conditions with an eye which sees truth is truth and lying is lying. Whom can one trust with one’s afflictions? And where can the pure and noble find friends? When people, save a few, have become wolves wearing sheep’s clothing? - Abu Firas Al-Hamdani
Where are you O Wild Deer? I have known you for a while, here. Both loners, both lost, both forsaken. The wild beast, for ambush, have all waken. Let us inquire of each other’s state If we can, each other’s wishes consummate. I can see this chaotic field joy and peace sometimes won’t yield. O friends, tell me who braves the danger to befriend the forsaken? - Hafez 
No friends but the mountains. 
*Kurdistan, 1991. A woman and her daughter fleeing war. Photograph by Chris Kutschera.
Where are you O Wild Deer? I have known you for a while, here. Both loners, both lost, both forsaken. The wild beast, for ambush, have all waken. Let us inquire of each other’s state If we can, each other’s wishes consummate. I can see this chaotic field joy and peace sometimes won’t yield. O friends, tell me who braves the danger to befriend the forsaken? - Hafez 

No friends but the mountains. 

*Kurdistan, 1991. A woman and her daughter fleeing war. Photograph by Chris Kutschera.

(Source: kurdistan.photoshelter.com)

(Source: ftyani, via lilyrishunted)

amr-m:

[To the righteous it will be said], “O reassured soul,Return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him],And enter among My [righteous] servants, And enter My Paradise.”

amr-m:

[To the righteous it will be said], “O reassured soul,Return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him],And enter among My [righteous] servants, And enter My Paradise.”

There is a community of the spirit. Join it, and feel the delight of walking in the noisy street, and being the noise. Close both eyes to see with the other eye. Open your hands, if you want to be held. Sit down in this circle. Quit acting like a wolf, and feel the shepherd’s love filling you. - Rumi
There is a community of the spirit. Join it, and feel the delight of walking in the noisy street, and being the noise. Close both eyes to see with the other eye. Open your hands, if you want to be held. Sit down in this circle. Quit acting like a wolf, and feel the shepherd’s love filling you. - Rumi
May these vows and this marriage be blessed. May it be sweet milk, this marriage, like wine and halvah. May this marriage offer fruit and shade like the date palm. May this marriage be full of laughter, our every day a day in paradise. May this marriage be a sign of compassion, a seal of happiness here and hereafter. May this marriage have a fair face and a good name, an omen as welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky. - Rumi
*Ketubah: Tetouan, Morocco, 1815, July 12. Marriage contract, manuscript, ink and paint on vellum, dated the fouth of Tamuz 5575 (1815 July 12) at Tetuan. Intricate floral border including two birds and a vase above a calligraphed passage with good wishes for the bride and groom. The text includes an additional clause obligating the groom not to take a second wife and not to move the family to another city without the wife’s consent. 
May these vows and this marriage be blessed. May it be sweet milk, this marriage, like wine and halvah. May this marriage offer fruit and shade like the date palm. May this marriage be full of laughter, our every day a day in paradise. May this marriage be a sign of compassion, a seal of happiness here and hereafter. May this marriage have a fair face and a good name, an omen as welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky. - Rumi

*Ketubah: Tetouan, Morocco, 1815, July 12. Marriage contract, manuscript, ink and paint on vellum, dated the fouth of Tamuz 5575 (1815 July 12) at Tetuan. Intricate floral border including two birds and a vase above a calligraphed passage with good wishes for the bride and groom. The text includes an additional clause obligating the groom not to take a second wife and not to move the family to another city without the wife’s consent. 

(Source: library.yale.edu)

I am your moon and your moonlight too. I am your flower garden and your water too. I have come all this way eager for you, without shoes or shawl. I want you to laugh, to kill all your worries, to love you, to nourish you. Oh sweet bitterness, I will soothe you and heal you. I will bring you roses. I too have been covered with thorns. - Rumi
*Three-year-old Eileen Dunne, a victim of the London Blitz, in hospital, 1940.
I am your moon and your moonlight too. I am your flower garden and your water too. I have come all this way eager for you, without shoes or shawl. I want you to laugh, to kill all your worries, to love you, to nourish you. Oh sweet bitterness, I will soothe you and heal you. I will bring you roses. I too have been covered with thorns. - Rumi

*Three-year-old Eileen Dunne, a victim of the London Blitz, in hospital, 1940.

Pleasure doesn’t last. However long it pleased you and grief doesn’t bring you back what has passed. Part of what hurt those in love is that they loved; not knowing life, uncomprehending. - Al Mutanabbi
Pleasure doesn’t last. However long it pleased you and grief doesn’t bring you back what has passed. Part of what hurt those in love is that they loved; not knowing life, uncomprehending. - Al Mutanabbi

(via hoai-thu)


“Oh mother!” - a rattle, tears and darkness. Blood gushed out, and the stabbed body trembled. “Oh mother!”, heard only by the executioner. Tomorrow the dawn will come and roses will wake up. Youth and enchanted hopes will ask for her. The meadows and the flowers will answer, “She left to wash the disgrace.” The brutal executioner will return and meet the people “Disgrace?”, he wipes his knife, “We’ve torn it apart and returned virtuous with a white reputation.” - Nazik Al-Malaika

“Oh mother!” - a rattle, tears and darkness. Blood gushed out, and the stabbed body trembled. “Oh mother!”, heard only by the executioner. Tomorrow the dawn will come and roses will wake up. Youth and enchanted hopes will ask for her. The meadows and the flowers will answer, “She left to wash the disgrace.” The brutal executioner will return and meet the people “Disgrace?”, he wipes his knife, “We’ve torn it apart and returned virtuous with a white reputation.” - Nazik Al-Malaika

You moan, “She left me.” “He left me.” Twenty more will come. Be empty of worrying. - Rumi
This coming from the chap who wrote 40,000 stanzas on Shams alone. 
Forgive me my teacher    I too miss the Beloved 
You moan, “She left me.” “He left me.” Twenty more will come. Be empty of worrying. - Rumi

This coming from the chap who wrote 40,000 stanzas on Shams alone. 

Forgive me my teacher    I too miss the Beloved