Fady Joudah has translated six poems by Palestinian novelist and poet Maya Abu Al Hayyat, published at Asymptote:

The first, “A Road for Loss,” asks its reader:

Do you know a road for loss
that doesn’t end
in a settlement?

In the poem, which layers lost-ness and loss, the poet cannot find a place, because, after all, “My children grow older,/
and no one’s thought yet/ to broadcast the last news hour,/ shut down religious channels,/ seal school roofs and walls,/ end torture.”

Abu Al Hayyat’s children appear in the other poems: in “Similarities” and “My House.” In others, the narrator is the child-figure, or, in the case of the wonderfully satiric “Like a Domestic Animal,” a house pet: “My demands are basic: / some patting over my head/ and clemency for my horrible daily deeds.”

Read all six poems in Fady Joudah’s translation:

At Asymptote.

Abu Al Hayyat’s work in translation:

In the poetry collection A Bird is Not a Stone 

Her award-winning children’s book, The Blue Pool of Questions

In German translation, Ich verbrenne die Zeit: Ausgewählte Gedichte

Also read:

Five more poems by Maya Abu Al-Hayyat, translated by Abu Al-Hayyat and Naomi Foyle

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