Lucky Dip: Ahmed Taha Egyptian Poems

This is a new regular post – a lucky dip into art, poetry, blogs to share some of my favourites.

The first Lucky Dip features Ahmed Taha, an Egyptian poet. The excerpts are from his collection The Empire of Walls (cantos and stories). You can also read more of his work online at Jacket Magazine, translations are by Maged Zaher.

The first excerpt is from a poem called the Portrait of Anwar Kamel. I find the image of the character of Anwar Kamel very compelling:

“How do you forget that you’re the one
who started departing
then invented your face
that we see so enigmatic
and the fingers that take refuge
in your eyes
whenever you hide
behind a stone table
or a silk coat”

The second excerpt is from a poem called:  The Wall of Dream. A comment on the other ways revolution can take place, by challenging social rules, an interesting comment for an Egypt is in full political revolt, without challenging its social standards or hierarchy.

“Just remember
before you start your daily path
that sex is not the only road
to revolution
however, it is the shortest one
and that women’s thighs are not the appropriate trenches
for class struggle.”

 

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