Gerges Shoukry – Jacket

Shoukry LE Arabic Poetry September 2023

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Live Encounters Arab Poets in Translation August 2023

Jacket, poems by Gerges Shoukry.


My jacket and I go for winter walks
I entrust it with keeping my cigarettes
And we do not ask anyone about the way
I hold it in my hand when the world suffocates
And sometimes it jumps onto my shoulder
Like a cat when longing overcomes it
So it bits my hands in her pockets
And I smile reassuringly
My jacket is faded and the street is noisy
Despite this, it insists on exiting
And when I get spoiled, it pushes me hard
So I carry it and do not talk to anyone
My jacket loves the street as much as I do
And I do not know how this love was born
I do not remember where this jacket came from
Only when I hate the world
I hide in my jacket
So it walks alone… It does not talk to anyone.

The national anthem

We are the knives
We have screaming blades
And our handles are dead

We know we are slaughtering and tearing apart
And do not be deceived by the love of butchers
We smile at the sacrifice while it is in pain
So do not hate us
We are the infidel knives
With all love
We were created like this without hearts

They put our feelings to a sharp blade
And the blacksmith recommended us
To slay vigorously
So as not to die.

Do not hate us when we slaughter you
We do not know pain
Also, we do not cry
We just slaughter
The sharp blade rises high
Without fear.

The hammer

The hammer said:
Why do I beat my brothers like this?
And it looked at the blacksmith in weariness
He got angry and said:
To be swords tearing the hearts of enemies
Blades that slaughter those who are bored
Many things.

Your brethren, you fool, are a code of life
Then he tossed it away and went furious

Days passed and the hammer was sad
And its brothers got sick with rust
One evening the blacksmith did not return home
Passers-by heard an enchanting rhythm flowing from his shop
Things dance and then repeat the rhythm for days
So sleep abandoned the city and the affliction intensified
As the slaughter machines abstained from killing their brothers
Of animals and birds
And the other machines refused to do their work

And whenever a blacksmith is absent and they open his shop
They found him sprawled like a sword, and a smiling hammer beside him

© Gerges Shoukry

Gerges Shoukry (1967) is an Egyptian poet and theater critic for Radio and Television magazine since 1994.He published nearly six poetry anthologies. His poems have been translated into German, English, French, Swedish, Dutch, Catalan, Slovenian and Hungarian. He also published five books in theatrical criticism and a book in travel literature. He won many national awards on his poetic, theatrical and critical achievements.

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