Hassan Najmi – Sleeper

Najmi LE P&W 7 Nov-Dec 2023

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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Seven Nov-Dec 2023.

Sleeper,  poems by Hassan Najmi.


Do not open the window
If there is no moon.
                  (American song)
If you come and find me asleep –
Do not wake me up
Just check out the children’s room and the pots of plants on the balcony
Water the mint a little to greenen the taste of the tea
Look at the henhouse and pay attention to the eggs –
And the dog’s den
Offer the cat an evening meal
Stop to hear what the foolish parrot will say again
And do not forget, look at the night for me.
If you come back and I’m asleep –
Do not say that I am dead
Just, I gave up everything
Especially the life that was not quite perfect
And myself.
And open the window –
The moon must be there.

Mausoleum of Anna Akhmatova
“Pray for me” (Anna, 1938)

No winter is longer than this one
Only the little gods know –
Why have we stayed here, until now, guarding the mausoleum?
(Even at night, we do not part from you.)
Books said that the Tatar would wake up from her eternal sleep –
And you will go with us, with a green heart, back to the court of life
That is why we are here –
Our poem prays for you.

© Hassan Najmi

Hassan Najmi (1960, Ibn Ahmed, Settat province) is a Moroccan poet, author, and journalist. He was The President of the Union of Writers of Morocco between 1998 and 2005 and former head of the House of Poetry in Morocco. He is also the President of the Moroccan Center for the International PEN Club and Secretary General of the Argana Prize for Poetry. He founded the House of Poetry in Morocco, along with a group of Moroccan poets (December 1995) and was elected vice-president and spokesperson for the House. He received many Arab and international awards, and his works have been translated into more than ten languages. He has also translated into Arabic the poetic works of a number of the world’s leading poets.

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