New Poetry in Translation: ‘Love’ by Ahmed Yamani

This poem is from Yamani’s most recent collection, Farewell in a Tiny Triangle, published by Dar Almutawassit.

Love

By Ahmed Yamani

Translated by Omar Ibrahim

Love

was a single blow

from neither an axe

nor a hand,

a bucket of cold water

where the head and legs swim

a hospital bed

and blood dripping from the bedroom to the bathroom

*

Love

was vomiting

in friends’ houses

where they ran here and there

searching for a hope of survival

*

Love

was painful like a rose’s thorn 

in the wet garden of a deserted house

where a lonely man once lived

then was buried inside a room

*

Love

was that room,

the immortal shoe of the man,

the worn-out curtain

that covered his remains

*

Love

was the man’s only servant

who hit the meddlesome boys

then went away

to cry, 

lonely,

lonelier than the owner of the house

*

Love

was the moment

the boys were struck

as they climbed 

mulberry trees

in the abandoned garden

*

Love

was never the mulberry tree

*

Love 

was her,

with her round face

and moonstruck eyes

who was only ever there once.

*

Love 

was a leap

from the tenth floor,

that left fragments on the ground

*

Love

was the dropsof blood

from the sidewalk

to the ambulance

*

Love

was the skinny body

they threw out of the car

*

Love

was the car that crashed into the lamppost

*

Love

was the locked wardrobe

inside the locked room

in the grandparents’ locked house

*

Love

was the doorman’s lit cigarette

*

Love

was the thief

who went to rob

the grandparents’ house

*

Love

was the sick woman

the horror of her withered body

her eyes 

the boiled food

they took to her

*

Love

was the axe that strikes

*

Love

was the hand holding the axe

*
Ahmed Yamani is an Egyptian poet based in Spain. He holds a PhD in Arabic Literature from Complutense University of Madrid where he currently serves as an Associate Professor. He has published five poetry collections and was previously awarded the Rimbaud Prize in 1991, the 39th Beirut Prize in 2010, the Poets from Other Worlds Award in Spain in 2015, the House of Translators Scholarship in Zaragoza, Spain in 2011 and the Fairmont Studio Writers and Artists Centre Award in 2012 from the United States of America. His poems have been translated into nine languages, and he has participated in poetry festivals in Egypt, France, Spain, Lebanon, London, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Morocco and Medellin (Colombia), as well as numerous translations from Spanish to Arabic.

Omar Ibrahim is an Egyptian literary translator, poet and essayist. He translated Mahmoud Morsi’s collection of poems It’s Time I Confess into English, and his Arabic translation of H. P. Lovecraft’s novella The Whisper in Darkness was on the bestselling list of many bookstores. He also has his own poetry collection, titled Fragments of My Mind, and two upcoming translations.

*

mlynxqualey

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