Madinat al-Muslimeen CommunityBeyond City LifeThe Silk RoadIslamic PoetryTopic: Poetry of Nizar Qabbani
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« on: May 20, 2008 05:45 AM »


salaam

Contemporary poet, famous for his "love poems" in Arabic.
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2008 05:45 AM »

Coolest poetry video I ever saw!

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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2008 05:48 AM »

A Lesson In Drawing

My son places his paint box in front of me
and asks me to draw a bird for him.
Into the color gray I dip the brush
and draw a square with locks and bars.
Astonishment fills his eyes:
"... But this is a prision, Father,
Don't you know, how to draw a bird?"
And I tell him: "Son, forgive me.
I've forgotten the shapes of birds."

My son puts the drawing book in front of me
and asks me to draw a wheatstalk.
I hold the pen
and draw a gun.
My son mocks my ignorance,
demanding,
"Don't you know, Father, the difference between a
wheatstalk and a gun?"
I tell him, "Son,
once I used to know the shapes of wheatstalks
the shape of the loaf
the shape of the rose
But in this hardened time
the trees of the forest have joined
the militia men
and the rose wears dull fatigues
In this time of armed wheatstalks
armed birds
armed culture
and armed religion
you can't buy a loaf
without finding a gun inside
you can't pluck a rose in the field
without its raising its thorns in your face
you can't buy a book
that doesn't explode between your fingers."

My son sits at the edge of my bed
and asks me to recite a poem,
A tear falls from my eyes onto the pillow.
My son licks it up, astonished, saying:
"But this is a tear, father, not a poem!"
And I tell him:
"When you grow up, my son,
and read the diwan of Arabic poetry
you'll discover that the word and the tear are twins
and the Arabic poem
is no more than a tear wept by writing fingers."

My son lays down his pens, his crayon box in
front of me
and asks me to draw a homeland for him.
The brush trembles in my hands
and I sink, weeping.
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2008 05:49 AM »

Dialogue

Do not say my love was
A ring or a bracelet.
My love is a siege,
Is the daring and headstrong.
Who, searching sail out to their death.

Do not say my love was
A moon.
My love is a burst of sparks.
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2008 05:49 AM »

LETTER FROM UNDER THE SEA

If you are my friend...
Help me...to leave you
Or if you are my lover...
Help me...so I can be healed of you...
If I knew....
that the ocean is very deep...I would not have swam...
If I knew...how I would end,
I would not have began

I desire you...so teach me not to desire
teach me...
how to cut the roots of your love from the depths
teach me...
how tears may die in the eyes
and love may commit suicide

If you are prophet,
Cleanse me from this spell
Deliver me from this atheism...
Your love is like atheism...so purify me from this atheism

If you are strong...
Rescue me from this ocean
For I don't know how to swim
The blue waves...in your eyes
drag me...to the depths
blue...
blue...
nothing but the color blue
and I have no experience
in love...and no boat...

If I am dear to you
then take my hand
For I am filled with desire...from my
head to my feet

I am breathing under water!
I am drowning...
drowning...
drowning...
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2008 05:49 AM »

Love Compared

I do not resemble your other lovers, my lady
should another give you a cloud
I give you rain
Should he give you a lantern, I
will give you the moon
Should he give you a branch
I will give you the trees
And if another gives you a ship
I shall give you the journey.

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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2008 05:50 AM »

Thus i write the history of women

i want you female as you are.
i claim no knowledge of womens chemistry
the sources of womens nectar
how the she-gazelle becomes a she-gazelle
nor how birds perfect the art of song

i want you like the women
in immortal paintings
the virgins gracing
cathedral cielings
bathing their breasts in the moonlight
i want you female... so trees will sprout green
and the misty clouds will gether...so that the rains will come

i want you female because
civilization is female
poems are female
stalks of wheat
vials of fragrance
even paris - is female
and beirut - despite her wounds - remains female
in the nameof those hwo want to write poetry... be a woman
in the name of those who want to make love... be a woman
in the name of those who want to know god.. be a woman.
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2009 08:18 AM »

When I Love

When I love
I feel that I am the king of time
I possess the earth and everything on it
and ride into the sun upon my horse.

When I love
I become liquid light
invisible to the eye
and the poems in my notebooks
become fields of mimosa and poppy.

When I love
the water gushes from my fingers
grass grows on my tongue
when I love
I become time outside all time.

When I love a woman
all the trees
run barefoot toward me...
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2009 08:19 AM »

On Entering the Sea

Love happened at last,
And we entered God's paradise,
Sliding
Under the skin of the water
Like fish.
We saw the precious pearls of the sea
And were amazed.
Love happened at last
Without intimidation...with symmetry of wish.
So I gave...and you gave
And we were fair.
It happened with marvelous ease
Like writing with jasmine water,
Like a spring flowing from the ground.
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2009 08:19 AM »

Jerusalem

Jerusalem, luminous city of prophets,
Shortest path between heaven and earth !

Jerusalem, you of the myriad minarets,
become a beautiful little girl with burned fingers.
City of the virgin, your eyes are sad.
Shady oasis where the Prophet passed,
the stones of your streets grow sad,
the towers of mosques downcast.
City swathed in black, who'll ring the bells
at the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday mornings?
Who will carry toys to children
on Christmas Eve?
City of sorrows, a huge tear
trembling on your eyelid,
Who'll save the Bible?
Who'll save the Qur'an?
Who will save Christ, who will save man?

Jerusalem, beloved city of mine,
tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom,
your green stalks and branches rise up joyful,
and your eyes will laugh. Migrant pigeons
will return to your holy roofs
and children will go back to playing.
Parents and children will meet
on your shining streets,
my city, city of olives and peace.


another on Jerusalem:


Jerusalem



I wept until my tears were dry
I prayed until the candles flickered
I knelt until the floor creaked
I asked about Mohammed and Christ
Oh Jerusalem, the fragrance of prophets
The shortest path between earth and sky
Oh Jerusalem, the citadel of laws
A beautiful child with fingers charred
and downcast eyes
You are the shady oasis passed by the Prophet
Your streets are melancholy
Your minarets are mourning
You, the young maiden dressed in black
Who rings the bells in the Nativity
On Saturday morning?
Who brings toys for the children
On Christmas eve?
Oh Jerusalem, the city of sorrow
A big tear wandering in the eye
Who will halt the aggression
On you, the pearl of religions?
Who will wash your bloody walls?
Who will safeguard the Bible?
Who will rescue the Quran?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?
Oh Jerusalem my town
Oh Jerusalem my love
Tomorrow the lemon trees will blossom
And the olive trees will rejoice
Your eyes will dance
The migrant pigeons will return
To your sacred roofs
And your children will play again
And fathers and sons will meet
On your rosy hills
My town
The town of peace and olives.
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2009 08:20 AM »

I Conquer The World With Words

I conquer the world with words,
conquer the mother tongue,
verbs, nouns, syntax.
I sweep away the beginning of things
and with a new language
that has the music of water the message of fire
I light the coming age
and stop time in your eyes
and wipe away the line
that separates
time from this single moment.


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« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2009 08:20 AM »


When I Love You

When I love you
A new language springs up,
New cities, new countries discovered.
The hours breathe like puppies,
Wheat grows between the pages of books,
Birds fly from your eyes with tiding of honey,
Caravans ride from your breasts carrying Indian herbs,
The mangoes fall all around, the forests catch fire
And Nubian drums beat.

When I love you your breasts shake off their shame,
Turn into lightning and thunder, a sword, a sandy storm.
When I love you the Arab cities leap up and demonstrate
Against the ages of repression
And the ages
Of revenge against the laws of the tribe.
And I, when I love you,
March against ugliness,
Against the kings of salt,
Against the institutionalization of the desert.
And I shall continue to love you until the world flood arrives;
I shall continue to love you untill the world flood arrives.
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« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2009 08:20 AM »

Dialogue

Do not say my love was
A ring or a bracelet.
My love is a siege,
Is the daring and headstrong.
Who, searching sail out to their death.

Do not say my love was
A moon.
My love is a burst of sparks.
jannah
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« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2009 08:21 AM »

A Brief Love Letter

My darling, I have much to say
Where o precious one shall I begin ?
All that is in you is princely
O you who makes of my words through their meaning
Cocoons of silk
These are my songs and this is me
This short book contains us
Tomorrow when I return its pages
A lamp will lament
A bed will sing
Its letters from longing will turn green
Its commas be on the verge of flight
Do not say: why did this youth
Speak of me to the winding road and the stream
The almond tree and the tulip
So that the world escorts me wherever I go ?
Why did he sing these songs ?
Now there is no star
That is not perfumed with my fragrance
Tomorrow people will see me in his verse
A mouth the taste of wine, close-cropped hair
Ignore what people say
You will be great only through my great love
What would the world have been if we had not been
If your eyes had not been, what would the world have been?
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« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2009 10:30 PM »

I Knew

I knew
While we were at the station
That you were waiting for another man,
I knew
While I was carrying your luggage
That you would be traveling with another man,
I knew that I was
No more than a disposable Chinese fan
Used to shield you
From the heat of the summer.
I also knew
That the love letters I wrote you
Were not more then mirrors
To reflect your pride.

*

In spite of that,
I will carry your luggage
And your lover's luggage
Because I cannot
Slap a woman
Who carries in her white handbag
The sweetest days of my life.

-N.Q.
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« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2009 10:30 PM »


Maritime Poem


In the blue harbor of your eyes
Blow rains of melodious lights,
Dizzy suns and sails
Painting their voyage to endlessness.

In the blue harbor of your eyes
Is an open sea window,
And birds appear in the distance
Searching for islands still unborn.

In the blue harbor of your eyes
Snow falls in July.
Ships laden with turquoise
Spill over the sea and are not drowned.

In the blue harbor of your eyes
I run on the scattered rocks like a child
Breathing the fragrance of the sea
And return an exhausted bird.

In the blue harbor of your eyes
Stones sing in the night.
Who has hidden a thousand poems
In the closed book of your eyes?

If only, if only I were a sailor,
If only somebody'd give me a boat,
I would furl my sails each evening
In the blue harbor of your eyes.
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« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2009 10:34 PM »

SubhanAllah amazing amazing poems on the beauty of Damascus:

Code:

Damascus, What Are You Doing to Me?
1
My voice rings out, this time, from Damascus
It rings out from the house of my mother and father
In Sham. The geography of my body changes.
The cells of my blood become green.
My alphabet is green.
In Sham. A new mouth emerges for my mouth
A new voice emerges for my voice
And my fingers
Become a tribe

2
I return to Damascus
Riding on the backs of clouds
Riding the two most beautiful horses in the world
The horse of passion.
The horse of poetry.
I return after sixty years
To search for my umbilical cord,
For the Damascene barber who circumcised me,
For the midwife who tossed me in the basin under the bed
And received a gold lira from my father,
She left our house
On that day in March of 1923
Her hands stained with the blood of the poem…

3
I return to the womb in which I was formed . . .
To the first book I read in it . . .
To the first woman who taught me
The geography of love . . .
And the geography of women . . .

4
I return
After my limbs have been strewn across all the continents
And my cough has been scattered in all the hotels
After my mother’s sheets scented with laurel soap
I have found no other bed to sleep on . . .
And after the “bride” of oil and thyme
That she would roll up for me
No longer does any other "bride" in the world please me
And after the quince jam she would make with her own hands
I am no longer enthusiastic about breakfast in the morning
And after the blackberry drink that she would make
No other wine intoxicates me . . .

5
I enter the courtyard of the Umayyad Mosque
And greet everyone in it
Corner to . . . corner
Tile to . . . tile
Dove to . . . dove
I wander in the gardens of Kufi script
And pluck beautiful flowers of God’s words
And hear with my eye the voice of the mosaics
And the music of agate prayer beads
A state of revelation and rapture overtakes me,
So I climb the steps of the first minaret that encounters me
Calling:
“Come to the jasmine”
“Come to the jasmine”

6
Returning to you
Stained by the rains of my longing
Returning to fill my pockets
With nuts, green plums, and green almonds
Returning to my oyster shell
Returning to my birth bed
For the fountains of Versailles
Are no compensation for the Fountain Café
And Les Halles in Paris
Is no compensation for the Friday market
And Buckingham Palace in London
Is no compensation for Azem Palace
And the pigeons of San Marco in Venice
Are no more blessed than the doves in the Umayyad Mosque
And Napoleon’s tomb in Les Invalides
Is no more glorious than the tomb of Salah al-Din Al-Ayyubi…

7
I wander in the narrow alleys of Damascus.
Behind the windows, honeyed eyes awake
And greet me . . .
The stars wear their gold bracelets
And greet me
And the pigeons alight from their towers
And greet me
And the clean Shami cats come out
Who were born with us . . .
Grew up with us . . .
And married with us . . .
To greet me . . .

8
I immerse myself in the Buzurriya Souq
Set a sail in a cloud of spices
Clouds of cloves
And cinnamon . . .
And camomile . . .
I perform ablutions in rose water once.
And in the water of passion many times . . .
And I forget—while in the Souq al-‘Attarine—
All the concoctions of Nina Ricci . . .
And Coco Chanel . . .
What are you doing to me Damascus?
How have you changed my culture? My aesthetic taste?
For I have been made to forget the ringing of cups of licorice
The piano concerto of Rachmaninoff . . .
How do the gardens of Sham transform me?
For I have become the first conductor in the world
That leads an orchestra from a willow tree!!

9
I have come to you . . .
From the history of the Damascene rose
That condenses the history of perfume . . .
From the memory of al-Mutanabbi
That condenses the history of poetry . . .
I have come to you . . .
From the blossoms of bitter orange . . .
And the dahlia . . .
And the narcissus . . .
And the "nice boy" . . .
That first taught me drawing . . .
I have come to you . . .
From the laughter of Shami women
That first taught me music . . .
And the beginning of adolesence
From the spouts of our alley
That first taught me crying
And from my mother’s prayer rug
That first taught me
The path to God . . .

10
I open the drawers of memory
One . . . then another
I remember my father . . .
Coming out of his workshop on Mu’awiya Alley
I remember the horse-drawn carts . . .
And the sellers of prickly pears . . .
And the cafés of al-Rubwa
That nearly—after five flasks of ‘araq—
Fall into the river
I remember the colored towels
As they dance on the door of Hammam al-Khayyatin
As if they were celebrating their national holiday.
I remember the Damascene houses
With their copper doorknobs
And their ceilings decorated with glazed tiles
And their interior courtyards
That remind you of descriptions of heaven . . .

11
The Damascene House
Is beyond the architectural text
The design of our homes . . .
Is based on an emotional foundation
For every house leans . . . on the hip of another
And every balcony . . .
Extends its hand to another facing it
Damascene houses are loving houses . . .
They greet one another in the morning . . .
And exchange visits . . .
Secretly—at night . . .

12
When I was a diplomat in Britain
Thirty years ago
My mother would send letters at the beginning of Spring
Inside each letter . . .
A bundle of tarragon . . .
And when the English suspected my letters
They took them to the laboratory
And turned them over to Scotland Yard
And explosives experts.
And when they grew weary of me . . . and my tarragon
They would ask: Tell us, by god . . .
What is the name of this magical herb that has made us dizzy?
Is it a talisman?
Medicine?
A secret code?
What is it called in English?
I said to them: It’s difficult for me to explain…
For tarragon is a language that only the gardens of Sham speak
It is our sacred herb . . .
Our perfumed eloquence
And if your great poet Shakespeare had known of tarragon
His plays would have been better . . .
In brief . . .
My mother is a wonderful woman . . . she loves me greatly . . .
And whenever she missed me
She would send me a bunch of tarragon . . .
Because for her, tarragon is the emotional equivalent
To the words: my darling . . .
And when the English didn’t understand one word of my poetic argument . . .
They gave me back my tarragon and closed the investigation . . .

13
From Khan Asad Basha
Abu Khalil al-Qabbani emerges . . .
In his damask robe . . .
And his brocaded turban . . .
And his eyes haunted with questions . . .
Like Hamlet’s
He attempts to present an avant-garde play
But they demand Karagoz’s tent . . .
He tries to present a text from Shakespeare
They ask him about the news of al-Zir . . .
He tries to find a single female voice
To sing with him . . .
“Oh That of Sham”
They load up their Ottoman rifles,
And fire into every rose tree
That sings professionally . . .
He tries to find a single woman
To repeat after him:
“Oh bird of birds, oh dove”
They unsheathe their knives
And slaughter all the descendents of doves . . .
And all the descendents of women . . .
After a hundred years . . .
Damascus apologized to Abu Khalil al-Qabbani
And they erected a magnificent theater in his name.

14
I put on the jubbah of Muhyi al-Din Ibn al-Arabi
I descend from the peak of Mt. Qassiun
Carrying for the children of the city . . .
Peaches
Pomegranates
And sesame halawa . . .
And for its women . . .
Necklaces of turquoise . . .
And poems of love . . .
I enter . . .
A long tunnel of sparrows
Gillyflowers . . .
Hibiscus . . .
Clustered jasmine . . .
And I enter the questions of perfume . . .
And my schoolbag is lost from me
And the copper lunch case . . .
In which I used to carry my food . . .
And the blue beads
That my mother used to hang on my chest
So People of Sham
He among you who finds me . . .
let him return me to Umm Mu’ataz
And God’s reward will be his
I am your green sparrow . . . People of Sham
So he among you who finds me . . .
let him feed me a grain of wheat . . .
I am your Damascene rose . . . People of Sham
So he among you who finds me . . .
let him place me in the first vase . . .
I am your mad poet . . . People of Sham
So he among you who sees me . . .
let him take a souvenir photograph of me
Before I recover from my enchanting insanity . . .
I am your fugitive moon . . . People of Sham
So he among you who sees me . . .
Let him donate to me a bed . . . and a wool blanket . . .
Because I haven’t slept for centuries


Code:
A Damascene Moon
Green Tunisia, I have come to you as a lover

On my brow, a rose and a book

For I am the Damascene whose profession is passion

Whose singing turns the herbs green

A Damascene moon travels through my blood

Nightingales . . . and grain . . . and domes

From Damascus, jasmine begins its whiteness

And fragrances perfume themselves with her scent

From Damascus, water begins . . . for wherever

You lean your head, a stream flows

And poetry is a sparrow spreading its wings

Over Sham . . . and a poet is a voyager

From Damascus, love begins . . . for our ancestors

Worshipped beauty, they dissolved it, and they melted away

From Damascus, horses begin their journey

And the stirrups are tightened for the great conquest

From Damascus, eternity begins . . . and with her

Languages remain and genealogies are preserved

And Damascus gives Arabism its form

And on its land, epochs materialize


Code:
Barada

Barada, oh father of all rivers
Oh, horse that races the days
Be, in our sad history, a prophet
Who receives inspiration from his lord
Millions acknowledge you as an Arab
Prince . . . so pray as an imam

Oh eyes of the gazelle in the desert of Sham
Look down. This is the age of lavender
They have detained you in the pavilions for a long time
We have woven tents from tears
God has witnessed that we have broken no promise
Or secured protection for those we love
jannah
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« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2009 10:39 PM »


Light Is More Important Than The Lantern
Light is more important than the lantern,
The poem more important than the notebook,
And the kiss more important than the lips.

My letters to you
Are greater and more important than both of us.
They are the only documents
Where people will discover
Your beauty
And my madness.
Shahida
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Hasbi Allah wa ni3mal wakeel!


« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2009 07:35 AM »

Salam alaikum

Jannah, do you have a link where I can find these in Arabic?

Smiley sank you, it was lovely to read these...Smiley

Salam
S.
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« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2009 05:57 PM »

Smiley sank you, it was lovely to read these...Smiley

I don't know of any but you can always do a search and find the Arabic poetry sites, they always have tons of poetry up. Some poets use 'aamiya though so it's pretty much greek when you try to read it, but good luck  flowersis
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« Reply #20 on: Apr 06, 2010 06:13 PM »

salaamz


Dang he is soooooooo romantic!
Shahwar K
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« Reply #21 on: Jan 08, 2011 07:56 AM »

Beautiful...I was searching for poetry by Nizar Qabbani, and was directed to this site, and lo and behold, I love this forum...

Thanks for putting this up here!


Learn to know Thyself...
S.A.W. Prophet Muhammad, P.B.U.H.
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« Reply #22 on: Jan 08, 2011 07:47 PM »

His poetry is sooo powerful and expressive isn't it!! Welcome to the board shahwar! write an intro so we can get to know u better...

ws
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« Reply #23 on: Jan 11, 2011 05:05 AM »


Light Is More Important Than The Lantern
Light is more important than the lantern,
The poem more important than the notebook,
And the kiss more important than the lips.

My letters to you
Are greater and more important than both of us.
They are the only documents
Where people will discover
Your beauty
And my madness.

Zindabad.... made my day Smiley

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« Reply #24 on: Aug 17, 2011 12:49 AM »

salaam

Contemporary poet, famous for his "love poems" in Arabic.

Hello my friends!

Can anyone help me with the translation in english of the following poem? I shall appreciate from the bottom of my heart

  دوستت میدارم

   در فاصلهی این عشق و آن عشق

   در فاصلهی زنی که خداحافظی میکند

   و زنی که از راه میرسد



   اینجا و آنجا

   دنبالِ تو میگردم

   هر اشارهای

   انگار

   به چشمهای تو میرسد



   چگونه تفسیر کنم این حسّی را

   که روز و شبم را ساخته



   زیباترین زنِ دنیا کنارِ من است

   پس چگونه

   مثلِ کبوتری

   میگذری از خیالِ من؟





   در فاصلهی دو دیدار

   در فاصلهی دو زن

   در فاصلهی قطاری که میرسد از راه و

   قطاری که راه میافتد

   پنج دقیقه فرصت هست



   فنجانی قهوه مهمانت میکنم

   پیش از آنکه

   راهیِ سفر ش

پیش از آنکه

   راهیِ سفر شوم



   پنج دقیقه فرصت داریم



   وجودِ تو آرامم میکند

   در این پنج دقیقه



   به تو میگویم رازهای پنهان را

   برای تو میبافم زمین و زمان را

   زیر و رو میکنی زندگیام را

   در این پنج دقیقه



   پس چرا

   چه رنجیست این

   چگونه میشود اینجا از بیوفایی دَم زد؟





   لحظههایی هست

   که غافلگیرم میکند شعر

   بیمقدّمه از راه میرسد



   هزار هزار انفجار

   در وجودِ دقیقههاست

   و نوشتن راهیست به رهایی



   پر میزنی

   مثلِ پروانهای کاغذی بین دو انگشت



   چگونه پنجاه سال در دو جبهه بجنگم؟

   چ
چگونه خودم را بین دو قارّه قسمت کنم؟

   چگونه با کسی جز تو آشنا شوم؟

   چگونه با کسی جز تو بنشینم؟

   چگونه با کسی جز تو عشقبازی کنم؟


I thank you very much in advance!
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 Madinat al-Muslimeen CommunityBeyond City LifeThe Silk RoadIslamic PoetryTopic: Poetry of Nizar Qabbani
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