This new issue of
Nadwah features sixteen established and published poets
that represent a wide varieties of cultures. We are happy to have in
this new issue Native American, African, Pakistani, Mongolian,
Greek and Italian poems translated in Nadwah for the first
time. As we did in the previous issue, we have translated some
master poets as well: Rilke, Nabokov and al-Malaeka.
This issue welcomes new editors who joined our editorial board:
MarjanStrojan for the Slovenian section, Sarah Thilykou for the
Greek section and Luca Bennassi for the Italian section. We still
welcome more editors and translators of different languages to join
our editorial team.
are starting a new trend that we shall keep in the coming issues,
which is to translate each and every poem into both English and
Arabic. Therefore, all poems not written originally in either Arabic
or English, will be published in three languages: in its original
language, as well as in Arabic and English translations. We insist
on having the poem in its original language so that it can be a
reference for translation teachers and students.
inside page of the back-cover will be used for announcements such as
new releases or important coming poetry events and festivals, etc.
Readers are welcome to send us this kind of news but announcements
have to be up to 100 words maximum.
may also submit essays on poetry or poetry translation of up to 1200
words in either English or Arabic to be considered for bilingual
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The current issue of Nadwah
features poets from Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Russia, Japan, China, Hong
Kong, Macedonia, India, Slovenia, Australia, Canada, the UK, Germany
and the USA.
This issue, not only features
contemporary poets, but some modern poets too such as Nagi, Rasafi
and Qabbani. We will try to include a few classical and/or modern
poems in every issue. This is to pay respect to the masters who no
doubt deserve our remembrance by translating and reading them.
The theme of this third issue of
Nadwah is love in its universal value. Most immediately, love
brings to mind romantic or erotic love. Some poets, however, express
a different type of love, such as Petrovski who expresses his love
for his parents in one poem and his love for Egypt in another.
Mair's poem shows a poet's love and connection with humankind in
general and with his fellow poets in particular. The poems that
address love for a companion also show various approaches. We can
feel a deeply committed love in the poems by Nagi, Filimonov, Linzi,
Linlin, Strojan and Jefferies. Rasafi, Qabbani and Burton express
love as longing for one's other half, while love of one's spouse
shines through in Jeje's, Linzi's and Liu Xiaobo's poems. In
Luofei's poem, erotic love is saturated with Buddhist terminology,
while it is expressed more overtly in Starfield's haiku poems and
somewhat covertly in Sharma's poem. Last but not least, the
spiritual love of Sufism has a profoundly influence in the poems by
Miskeen and Bunzel.
With this diversity of love poems from
different parts of the world, we start 2019. Love, in all its
versatile all-round merits, is what the world mostly needs now.
25 January 2019
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This second issue of Nadwah
features a number of new poets not featured in the first
issue. While Nadwah focuses predominantly on poetry
written and translated into English and Arabic, this issue
gives voice to poets from different parts of the world who
write in languages other than English and Arabic, such as
Chinese, German and Russian.
This issue introduces a new direction of
Nadwah: all submitted poems will be translated into either
English or Arabic. This will be our goal and policy for future
issues, and I hope this maximizes the benefit for all poets
involved. Thus, henceforth, Nadwah will be divided into
two sections only: Poetry in English Translation and Poetry in
wholeheartedly welcomes all poets and translators to send in quality
works for the upcoming issues. Works may include poetry in English
or Arabic or translated poetry from any language into either English
or Arabic. Poems heavily saturated with linguistic complexities
might be unsuitable for Nadwah. Furthermore, we ask poets to
refrain from political or ideological content that falls outside of
our universal humanistic approach. We encourage all poets to address
human suffering without politicizing a universal issue.
The magazine also welcomes scholars who
would like to contribute a preface to an issues, so long as the
preface will touch upon either poetry or translation or both.
With this selection of formidable poetry,
we leave 2018 and step into 2019 with a higher hope and a deeper
determination for contributing our small part toward a more poetic
1 December 2018
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The idea of launching this
magazine has been on my mind for many years and I have
always procrastinated carrying it out for one reason or
another. Maybe one of the reasons is knowing how immense
this project might be and how much effort and time it will
take. In the end, I knew I had to start somewhere.
Otherwise, the idea would always remain just an idea.
This project is my attempt to shed light
on quality poetry in English and Arabic. In addition, the magazine
will feature poetry translations into both languages. Some English
poems that appear in the English section will have their translation
in the Arabic section and vice versa.
Needless to say, poetry translation is
the most problematic type of translation. A poem is not just an
ordinary text. Otherwise, translating it would be like translating
any other ordinary text. I don’t talk here about condensed meaning
and abstract ideas because if this were the reason why translating
poetry is difficult, then translating Kant would definitely be more
difficult than translating any poem. The fact is that translating
poetry is not an easy task because a poem has its own special
language, structure and rhythm. This is the rub. How can one
translate a rhythm?
Rhythm is more than a pleasing sound. It
has a meaning, or at least it should, as Pound once said. My study
of comparative prosody that includes Arabic, Chinese, Greek, English
and French prosodies and metrical forms helped me realize how rhythm
is constructed to echo meaning.
Classical Arab poets used to apply long
meters when they wrote eulogies for their kings. They used short
meters with light rhythm when they wrote love poems. In a paper on
Li Bai’s rhythmic genius, I commented on how he changed his rhythm
within the same poem when he needed to deliver a certain meaning. I
further illustrated this point by giving examples from poetry of
other poets in different languages such as Hugo in French,
Wordsworth in English and Hegazi in Arabic.
Translating rhythm with all its
intricacies of rhyme scheme, number of feet or syllables per line,
metrical form and line break is a high call for any translator. In
my translations of poetry, I try to strike a balance and use both
formal and dynamic equivalences as introduced by Eugene Nida. For
instance, in my translation of Salah Elewa’s poem ‘Questions Not
Picked by Her Hands’, I kept the same poetic form in terms of number
of lines and line breaks. I also tried to add rhythm to some lines
to reflect a glimpse of his highly rhythmical lines. This rhythm is
demonstrated in the iambic tempo in the following lines as selected
He did not wish /
to sell the winds that hummed the last …
and roamed around the cage. /
about some men who wandered in the nights
between his hands? /
that ceaseless rain would fall for nights
on a dying bud? /
I applied the same rule in translating
English and Chinese poems into Arabic. This issue features one poem
by Xu Zhimo, two poems by David McKirdy and one poem by Birgit
Bunzel. Though this last poem by Bunzel is not translated into
Arabic metrical meter like the first three poems, it has its own
rhythm that translates well into Arabic as some lines are completely
metrical without being restricted to one certain foot. When
translating Xu Zhimo’s poem ‘Farewell to Cambridge’, in order to
correspond as much as possible to the original masterpiece, I tried
my best to keep the same form and almost the same rhyme scheme in
Finally, this issue marks the birth of
Nadwah as a bilingual bimonthly poetry e-magazine. I want to
dedicate this first special issue to all the poets who supported and
contributed to Nadwah’s activities throughout the years. This
special issue is a simple thank-you to all of them. Poetry used to
bring us together to read, discuss and write. Now that most of us do
not live in Hong Kong any more, this special issue of Nadwah
comes as our reunion to share what we love most: poetry.
15 October 2018
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