Poetry is the journey of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away. Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance - Carl Sandburg..........Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one's soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject - John Keats .........Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge - William Wordsworth ..........Poets utter great and wise things which they do not themselves understand - Plato .........No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher. For poetry is the blossom and the fragrance of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language - Samuel Taylor Coleridge .........One demands two things of a poem. Firstly, it must be a well-made verbal object that does honor to the language in which it is written. Secondly, it must say something significant about a reality common to us all, but perceived from a unique perspective. What the poet says has never been said before, but, once he has said it, his readers recognize its validity for themselves - W. H. Auden ...........Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash - Leonard Cohen .........There is a pleasure in poetic pains which only poets know - William Cowper .........Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood -T. S. Eliot ..........Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason - Novalis...........He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life - George Sand .........A poem is never finished, only abandoned - Paul Valery ........A poet is a bird of unearthly excellence, who escapes from his celestial realm arrives in this world warbling. If we do not cherish him, he spreads his wings and flies back into his homeland - Kahlil Gibran.............Poetry should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance - John Keats..........To be a poet is a condition, not a profession - Robert Frost........A poem is true if it hangs together. Information points to something else. A poem points to nothing but itself - E. M. Forster.........Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo - Don Marquis...........Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things - T. S. Eliot ..........You can tear a poem apart to see what makes it tick. You're back with the mystery of having been moved by words. The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash or thunder in - Dylan Thomas .........Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words - Paul Engle......... There is not a joy the world can give like that it takes away! Lord Byron

Poetry in English    Poetry in Translation Culture News About Us Write to Us

Poems Featured in Issue 5

Poetry in Translation

 

THE NAME

Pushkin - Russia

Translated from Russian by Vladimir Nabokov

 

What is my name to you? `Twill die:
a wave that has but rolled to reach
with a Ione splash a distant beach;
or in the timbered night a cry...
`Twill leave a lifeless trace among
names on your tablets: the design
of an entangled gravestone line
in an unfathomable tongue.

More on page 5 (Issue 5)

LAMENT X

Jan Kochanowski - Poland

Translated from Polish by Adam Czerniawski

 

My fair Orszula, where have you fled
Are you above the celestial spheres, numbered?
Among angelic hosts? Are you in Paradise?
Or are you taken to the Fortunate Isles?
Does Charon guide you over disconsolate lakes,
Offering draughts from the erasing stream,
So, you can’t know my tears?

More on page 6 (Issue 5)

LONGING FOR THE SOUTH

Konstantin Miladinov - R. N. Macedonia

Translated from Macedonian by
Graham W. Reid


If I had an eagle's wings
I would rise and fly with them
To our own shores, to our own climes,
To see Stamboul, to see Kukuš,
And to watch the sunrise: is it

Dismal there, as it is here?

More on page 8 (Issue 5)

AFTER SWIMMING

C. P. Cavafy- Greece
Translated from Greek by Sarah Thilykou


Both naked, they just came out from the sea of the Samian
coast; from the sport of swimming
(on a hot summer day).
They were delaying getting dressed, hating to cover
the beauty of their sculpted nudity,
harmoniously complementing the loveliness of their faces.

More on page 10 (Issue 5)

 

HOW COULD I NOT MISS HER

Liu Bannong - China

Translated from Chinese by Sayed Gouda


Some light clouds float up in the sky,
and a light breeze wafts over the land.
Oh!
The light breeze blows through my hair,
how could I not miss her?
The moonlight is in love with the ocean,
and the ocean is in love with the
moonlight.

More on page 12 (Issue 5)

CASSIA

Liu Bannong - China

Translated from Chinese by Sayed Gouda


A storm thundered in the middle of the
night,
and awoke me from my dreams, startled.
I remembered my small yard
where a cassia blooms—
blooms with golden flowers.
I remembered it with bitterness.
Eventually, after tossing and turning,
thinking of it,
I still didn’t know what to do for it.

More on page 13 (Issue 5)

A PRISONER IN A TRAIN

Khalil Hawi - Lebanon

Translated from Arabic by Sayed Gouda


Bitter is his first night
and bitter is his first day
in a strange land.
Bitter were his boring nights.
How often he bit on his hunger,

More on page 14 (Issue 5)

LEBANON

Khalil Hawi - Lebanon

Translated from Arabic by Sayed Gouda


We were a wall against a wall.
How painful talking was!
How painful silence was!
Full of misfortune.
How painful the neighbourhood was!

More on page 14 (Issue 5)

FLOWER

Kim Chun Su - S. Korea

Translated from Korean by Lena Oh

 

Until I spoke his name,
he was nothing more than a mere gesture.
When I spoke his name,
he came to me and then became a flower.
Just as I spoke his name,
will someone speak my name now,

More on page 15 (Issue 5)

LIVING AND LINGERING

Jorge Palma - Uruguay

Translated from Spanish by Peter Boyle

I want to believe that men
don't die far from their motherland.
That the childhood skies,
those eyes, the afternoons
that you and I breathed,
the railings around the lit up
courtyards where I would kiss you

More on page 27 (Issue 5)

SHADOWS AND OPENINGS

Stathis Gourgouris - Greece

Translated from Greek by the author


Shadows and openings
of bodies in the shade
of a window you seek,
a piece of life
perhaps to grasp
if life ever really
let you.
Yet, instead of letting
bits and pieces open to chance,
might it not be better to grant
your shadows a bit of grace

More on page 24 (Issue 5)

OR

Stathis Gourgouris - Greece

Translated from Greek by the author


Only a saint would wake
In a shawl of tears
Or possibly a child
Betrayed by the coldness
Of an unbearable dream
To face the mystery
Of yet another life’s morning
For waking means
Either bliss or terror
Depending on the reality
Of dreams
Or whether dreams fail
To bear real pain
Or pleasure of discovering

More on page 25 (Issue 5)

THE AIR KNOWS

Mariela Cordero - Venezula

Translated from Spanish by the author


He is full of my confession
he feels the face of the unknown
he plays with the atoms of my Eden
he shouts to the crowd that name
but no one can decipher his scream.
The sun of this story without telling
Expands me.

More on page 27 (Issue 5)

YOU CAME WITH THE RAIN

Mariela Cordero - Venezula

Translated from Spanish by the author


You were in the middle of the downpour
a taste of the climate
a landscape to succumb to.
You were multiplied in every drop
like an invading fable.
You were like thunder
in the scar of my night.

More on page 27 (Issue 5)

THE MORNING AFTER

Eleonora Rimolo - Italy

Translated from Italian by Alessandra Giorgioni


The morning after
shards of bone and shreds
of epidermis were mingled
with iron:
the sun melted feeling
of pain passed
selfishness crossed
the platform, gliding,
the black angel lifted his
foot, climbed over
the slimy heights,

More on page 30 (Issue 5)

STARS STAY

Salah Elewa - Egypt

Translated from Arabic by the author


You keep wandering in empty seasons,
Where strangers feed their songs to fire for
logs
Mostly in tales where ancient tunes roam
in ancient winters.
Night after night ports keep aspiring to
stars
The tinkles of the poor man 's cup reach
the end of the alley
All dew’s words vanish when the sky goes
to sleep

More on page 31 (Issue 5)

TEN TANKA POEMS

Yusuke Nakashima - Japan

Translated from Japanese by the author

 

Staring at the star of Bethlehem, she's a
starving stargazer!
 

Please keep me keen to kiss a knight of
knowledge in a Kafkaesque Kaleidoscope.

More on page 32 (Issue 5)

Send in your submission, whether your translation of classical or modern poems, or your own writing to the magazine e-mail to be considered for publication. Please read the publication guidelines first before submission.

Poems Featured in Previous Issues

Poetry in Translation  

Autumn Day 

Rainer Maria Rilke - Austria

Translated from German by Birgit Bunzel

 

Lord: it is time. This summer was immense.

Unfold your shadow across the solar clocks,

and across the meadows, unleash the winds.

 

Command the last of fruits to fill to shine,

give them another two more southernly days.

Compel them toward completion and then chase

the final sweetness into heavy wine.  

More on page 5 (Issue 4)

In Paradise

Vladimir Nabokov - Russia

Translated from Russian by Vladimir Nabokov

 

My soul, beyond distant death

your image I see like this:

a provincial naturalist,

an eccentric lost in paradise.

 

There, in a glade, a wild angel slumbers,

a semi-pavonian creature.

Poke at it curiously

with your green umbrella,

More on pages 6-7 (Issue 4)

An Autumn Night On the River

Liu Dabai – China

Translated from Chinese by Sayed Gouda

 

The birds that return to their nests,

though exhausted,

always return toward the setting sun.

Their wings flap,

and drop the setting sun into the river;

the white-headed reed

turns into crimson red, too.

More on pages 8-9 (Issue 4)

Mail Kiss

Liu Dabai – China

Translated from Chinese by Sayed Gouda

 

Not that I cannot tear it with my fingers,

not that I cannot cut it with scissors,

but slowly,

gently,

and carefully I open the the lips of that purple

letter.

I know that inside the letter’s lips

hides her secret kiss.

More on pages 8-9 (Issue 4)

Strangers

Nazik Al-Malaeka – Iraq

Translated from Arabic by Sayed Gouda

 

Blow out the candle and leave us here, strangers.

We are two parts of the night. What is the meaning of the light?

Light falls on two mirages in the evening’s eyelid.

Light falls on some flinders of hope.

They are called ‘us’ and I call them

‘boredom’. Here, we’re like light:

strangers.

More on pages 10-11 (Issue 4)

Closed Gate Closed Gate

No Touch

Marjan Strojan - Slovania

Translated from Slovanian by the author

 

I’m fed up with farewells. All those little

deaths time and time again: when you try

to touch them, they recoil like a small animal

that does not know you.

 More on pages 12-13 (Issue 4)

Elder in a Garden

Marjan Strojan - Slovania

Translated from Slovanian by the author

 

Truly, my heart stops whenever I see the garden again

and the elder flowering into the timeless night,

and the path which I knew runs across

the common but did not know

where it ends.

Beside the path grew coltsfoot, nettles, and cherries

washed by dew or by rain. If I looked I might

 More on pages 12-13 (Issue 4)

Evening Sun

Milovan Stefanovski - Republic of North Macedonia

Translated from Macedonian by the author

Do not look

at the evening sun

with its final beam

it can close your eyes

it can blind you

on its way down it can take you

along!

 More on page 14 (Issue 4)

Ten Haikus

Kika Hotta - Japan

Translated from Japanese by the author

1

The desert is pregnant

her dunes

softly curved

 

2

I lie on sand

feeling its warmth –

the Earth rotates

 More on pages 16-17 (Issue 4)

Island

Sarah Thilykou - Greece

Translated from Greek by YiorgosChouliaras

 

I

Open the window

Look

It's the island

 

II

No man is an island,

they say, but

 More on pages 18:20 (Issue 4)

I am  Coming to You

Mend-Oyoo Gombojav - Mongolia

Translated  from Mongolian by  N. Enhkbayar

 

Traveling through time, in company with the sun, the moon,

Along the bumpy and winding roads left by old wise men,

Climbing up and down the high mountains and the hills,

Fording hundreds of rivers,

Although I do not know when we may meet,

 More on pages 21:23 (Issue 4)

Salmon

Luca Benassi - Italy

Translated from Italian by the author

 

Salmon are to be waylaid

at the bottleneck of the river mouth,

when they are scared, cramming the water;

you have to let the net down where

the surface ripples with fins,

gills fumbling the desire

 More on page 24 (Issue 4)

Outside the Walls

Catherine Peteinari - Greece

Translated from Greek by YiorgosChouliaras

 

Propylaea – the definition of beauty

the appearance of the barrier inside and outside me

 

I create –

I resist against something

the air that envelopes my guts

retrieving memories and names

outside the limits of the wall

 More on pages 26-27 (Issue 4)

A Gazal

Rajesh Vyas – 'Miskeen'

Translated from Gujarati by Dileep Jhaveri

 

If you have just nothing, forsake it, and come over

If you have everything, renounce it and reveal

 

Where the rooms are illuminated by your name

I am that house, even if you do not come

More on pages 16-17 (Issue 3)

Dream of Memory

Alexey Filimonov - Russia

Translated from Russian by Molly Zuckerman and Madeline Tingle

 

At times nature smells of blood,

of dew and of this War’s death,

and dreams of unsolved pain   

grow through trees,

 More on page 14 (Issue 2)

Archived Poems on Nadwah Website

  Russian Poetry  
   

Alexey Filimonov - Russia

Dream of Memory

 

At times nature smells of blood,

of dew and of this War’s death,

and dreams of unsolved pain   

grow through trees,

   
  Catalan Poetry  
   

Yolanda Castańo - Spain

The English translation is done by the author

I Passed By Here So Many Times, and Never Saw You Before

 

We are making a detailed inventory,

like the herbarium of an unforeseeable constellation.

First are the lilies, adornment of splattered stars;

the dahlias and the chrysanthemums;

   
  Chinese Poetry  
   

Yan Li - China

Translated from Chinese by Denis Mair - USA

Marvelous Encounter

(for World Poetry Day)

 

 At spring’s first blush we walk in the riverside park

 Because my forebears long ago discovered

 Language is best for reciting when

It first droops from the wands of willows

   
   

Selected Poems by Yu Nu - China

Translated from Chinese by Eleanor Goodman(顾爱玲 译)

 

Exchange

 

At twelve, a friend and I

exchanged our animals. He produced

a gray bird, I produced a lizard. They parted bearing

the temperatures of two people.

   
  Indian Poetry  
   

Dreaming in Another Land

Rati Saxena - India

Translated by Seth Michelson - USA

My Sheet

 

That morning when I woke, I saw

a small hole in my sheet,

the result of being lost in sleep.

So I struggled with silken thread throughout the day

and by night had stitched a window

for glimpsing a few, new dreams.

   
  Macedonian Poetry  
   

Anthem of the Memory

Jovica Tasevski Eternijan - Macedonia

 

The space that expands

and contracts, the face

that is built

and knocked down,

the time that darkens

 

- the ether, protection,

Direct -

   
  Kosovo Poetry  
   

Thus spoke Tamara

Fahredin Shehu - Kosovo

 

I have polished the eyes of suffered child

Removing steamy layers of his vision

To see a sparkling teeth while I smile

And my soul’s dormant and well hidden planet of hate

 

I have washed the stratosphere of disasters

Their parents layered meticulously in his being

With tears with love impregnated

I have peeled all membranes of polluted spirit

   
   
   

أمل دنقل - مصرThe Coming Testament

Amal Donkul - Egypt

 

Chapter I

 

In the beginning I was man, woman and tree

I was father, son and holy ghost

I was morning, evening and the circular fixed gaze

My throne was stones on the banks of river

Sheep grazed

Bees buzzed around blossoms

Geese floated in silence lake

And life throbbed like a distant mill

When I saw:

That all I see can't save the heart from boredom

(Cockfights were my one entertainment

In my lonely seat among entangled branches)

   
   

Abdul Wahab Al-Bayati

About Waddah of Yemen - Love and Death

Abdul Wahab Al-Bayyaty

Translate from Arabic by Bassam k. Frangieh

 

1

From the cities of magic and the caves: Waddah arises,
Crowned by the moon of death and the fire of a shooting star,
Falling into the desert,
Carried like an orange nightingale
By the ogress with the caravans
To Syria.
A red feather
Is blown into the air by a magician
He wrote a charm on it
For the ladies of the cities of the wind
The words of the stones falling in the wells,
The dances of fire
Are blown into the chamber of the caliph
Becoming sometimes a poem,
Sometimes a virgin pearl

   
   

Mahmoud Darwish - PalestineThe Dice Player

(Excerpts)

Mahmoud Darwish - Palestine

Translated from Arabicby Sayed Gouda - Egypt / Hong Kong

 

Who am I to say to you

What I say to you?

I’m not a stone

Polished by water

To become a face

Nor am I a stick of cane

With holes made by the wind

To become a flute ….

I’m a dice player

I win sometimes

I lose sometimes

I’m like you

Or a little bit less than you

I was born beside the well

Falling at the feet of Waddah

   
   

Jasmine Seller

Sayed Gouda - Egypt

Translated from Arabic by the Author

 

i am a jasmine seller

i get up in the morning with the birds

my eyes hug daylight

my heart sips the scent of life

i see a line of ants on the ground

i throw a cube of sugar to them

   

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