For the Beauties, Poetry is Written

by Hamdy El-Gazzar  and translated by Amani Elmawed  /  April 8, 2013  / No comments

Hamdy el-Gazzar presents a poem for the women in his life.

Detail of Egyptian painter Mahmoud Said's 'Banat Bahari' (Damsels of the Delta). Photo: Courtesy of Hamdy el-Gazar.

In March we celebrated both Women’s Day and Mother’s Day in Egypt, and even though every moment generates a love story, which poets joyfully write about, along with beautiful women, what is it that prevents me from saying what I have to say today?

  1. Off-Screen
  2. “From Egypt” attempts to draw a cultural map of Egypt and the Arab world by profiling the artistic, literary, and political issues that affect the region via on-the-ground coverage of current events, publications, and the fight for freedom of expression.
  3. Hamdy el Gazzar
  4. Hamdy El-Gazzar is an Egyptian writer and one of the 39 young Arab writers included in the Beirut 39 Project. His first novel, Sihr Aswad (Dar Merit, 2005) won the prestigious Sawaris Award, and was subsequently translated by Humphrey Davies (Black Magic, AUC Press, 2007). His second novel, Ladhdhat Sirriyya (Secret Pleasures) was published by Dar al-Dar in 2008. He is currently working on a third novel.

1
I talk about love and I don’t care
I talk about love and I’m not ashamed
Should the best man who talked about love be eternalized?
Or should it be the say of his heart’s Lord?

2
My clothes are pure because of your love
Walking without shoes, without hypocrisy
I scream in the arena,
I love you.

3
How lucky is the one you’ve gestured to
How joyful the one you’ve waved to
Take me with you if she did so to you
And come to me when she comes.

4
If she wanted to walk on water she could
If she wanted to step to my sight she could
If she wanted to restrain me she could
And if she wanted to release me, she could

5
My beloved is cheerful away from me
My beloved is wearing the abusive clothes
My beloved is ignoring me and forgetting me
And doesn’t leave my heart, but leaves me

6
I call her everyday
I soliloquize her every night
My voice is not low
And she’s not deaf

7
My body asks for you with tremendous yearning
With no conditions or disorders
My love for you is like hatred
You’re the one whom I yearn for

8
She came especially for you to pick you from many
With her magical beauty
And she said “I love you,
Were you blind not seeing me all that time?”

9
What do you want?
Deep love depends on human
What do you want exactly?
Deep love is you.

10
Years after burying you she came
Dug up the grave and took out the skull of the beloved
She said to the flesh of the skull to regenerate again, and it did
She told him to smile at her and kiss her…and you did.

About the Author

Hamdy El-Gazzar is an Egyptian writer and one of the 39 young Arab writers included in the Beirut 39 Project. His first novel, Sihr Aswad (Dar Merit, 2005) won the prestigious Sawaris Award, and was subsequently translated by Humphrey Davies (Black Magic, AUC Press, 2007). His second novel, Ladhdhat Sirriyya (Secret Pleasures) was published by Dar al-Dar in 2008. He is currently working on a third novel.

View all articles by Hamdy El-Gazzar

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