Specimen Press has published two poems by Jalal al-Ahmadi in their originals and multiple translations:

Al-Ahmadi is a Yemeni poet who now lives in Germany.

The first poem, translated to “At Home” by Adam Talib,” opens:

Now I sit alone

around a circular table

Now I sit circularly

around myself

Now I sit, as empty as a table

Now I sit

Failing to understand

why my body smells of tobacco

and loss

While in the Croatian translation by Antonia de Castro, it opens:

Sjedim sada, sam

Za okruglim stolom

Sjedim sada,

Kružeći oko sebe.

Sjedim sada, kao stol za kojim nitko ne sjedi

Sjedim sada

Ne znam kako

Iz mene isparava miris duhana

I gubitaka

While in the Italian translation, by Raoul Villano, it opens:

Siedo, adesso, solo, a una tavola

rotonda. Siedo,

adesso, arrotolato su me stesso.

Siedo, adesso,

come una tavola

a cui nessuno siede.

Siedo, adesso,

non so come, ma emana,

dal mio corpo, un odore di tabacco

e di sconfitte.

The complete translations, as well as the poem in Arabic and translations of al-Ahmadi’s الغابة التي حدثت في غيابك, can all be found at Specimen Press.

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