Friday Finds: ‘Everything in You Grew, But Not Your Hand’

Over at Youssef Rakha’s Cosmopolitan Hotel, there are six poems in Robin Moger’s translation, by Moroccan writer Sukaina Habiballah, who is a writer hardly ever whispered about in English:

Sukaina Habiballah

Author of both poetry and prose, Habiballah was a recipient of Arab Fund for Arts an Culture and al-Mawred al-Thaqafy grants, as well as winner of several awards for poets, including the Buland al-Haidari prize for young poets. Among her poetry collections are A Quarter Century of Sight (2014) and There’s No Need for You (2015).

One of the poems, tr. Robin Moger:

Familiar wounds

Everything in you grew, but not your hand. 

Whenever they pushed your way a finger,

A dry stick or a blade, 

Incautious, undiscerning

As a babe’s,

Your rude fist wrapped it round

And clung.    

Read all six over at the Cosmopolitan Hotel.

More of Habiballah’s work in Arabic, including a chapter from her 2016 novel House of Straw, can be found at el-MawjaAs Moger points out below, Kareem James Abu-Zeid also translated one of Habiballah’s poems for WWB: “Anatomy of the Rose.

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