Friday Finds: ‘The Earth Opens and Welcomes You,’ by Abdellatif Laâbi

Goncourt-winning Moroccan poet Abdellatif Laâbi — co-founder of the seminal journal Souffles — has been recorded, for the Poetry Translation Centre, reading “The Earth Opens and Welcomes You” together with André Naffis-Sahely, who reads his English translation:


The poem can be found in the PTC chapbook of Laâbi’s work, translated by Naffis-Sahely.

It opens: “The earth opens / and welcomes you / Why these cries, these tears / these prayers. / What have they / lost / What are they looking for / those who disturb/ Your new-found peace?”

Beyond the Barbed Wire: Selected Poemstr. Naffis-Sahely; The Bottom of the Jar, tr. Naffis-Sahely; The Rule of Barbarism: Pirogue Poets Seriestr. Naffis-Sahely; and In Praise of Defeat: Poems by Abdellatif Laabi, tr. Donald Nicholson-Smith.