& occasionally about other things, too...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

To love a Palestinian Woman

Beit Zatoun means House of Olives. It’s in Toronto’s Mirvish Village. A great meeting place for the exchange of ideas. Recently, it was the venue for Tsar Publication’s spring book launch of


to

Love a
Palestinian
Woman

Ehab Lotayef’s book of poems in English and Arabic.


Lotayef is a Canadian writer of Egyptian origin. Lotayef poems are political. He writes about injustice and he writes evocatively.

The volume includes his Arabic poems translated into English. Even in translations, they still manage to convey the sense of raw emotions.

Sheikh Imam’s Last Song


Truth is lost

Sold cheap
Controlled

Lies in abundance

Values disappearing
No feelings

No conscience

Words become
like waves of mist
blurring visions

Another example...


Mawaal

a traditional colloquial poem

The first: a sigh

The second: a sigh
The third: a sigh

The first is Cairo

The second is Montreal
The third is Palestine

The first is Cairo: too liberal they said I was

The second is Montreal: conservative, they call me here
The third is Palestine: no one is free over there

The first is Cairo: too liberal they said I was, so I left

The second is Montreal: conservative they call me here,
           yet I stay
The third is Palestine: no one is free over there, still...
          they resist, and will prevail

The first is Cairo

The second is Montreal
The third is Palestine

The first: a sigh

The second: a sigh
The third: a cry

The highlight of the evening was Maryem and Ernie Tollar’s fluent attempt to put Lotayef’s poems to music.


Image:  http://farm1.static.flickr.com/152/431770744_6e02d27de9_o.jpg

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