Live Encounters Poetry & Writing February 2024.
Flamenco, poems by Ashraf Aboul-Yazid.
Translated from Arabic by Dr. Salwa Gouda.
A girl from the book of Al-Andalus
He had not seen her before tonight
But the feet will weave
A rhythm in her dance
That he kept dreaming about it before he was born!
Perhaps the sweat that rolled away
Drop, drop, like a river of gold
Above the bronze face
Evaporates from a crack dug by his grandfather
A thousand years ago in Cordoba.
Perhaps the music that
Moved the body to the edge of the stage
And the heart
Al-Mawsili wrote it on a scroll
Hidden by a poetess in love
In the shirt of history.
Perhaps the dress she wears from a cotton tree
Its seed germinated in the East
Before a knight carried it
Across the strait.
I do not remember anything other than the name of the dance:
Who among you remembers
A girl from the book of Al- Andalus?
The Monk on the gray mountain top
Like a fugitive ibex
I jump between floating clouds over fields of hope
I wish you enchant me as a star
I arrive to the gray mountaintop
The monk was waiting
With his temple that looks like a cloud
Overhead a skyscraper
To reach him
I walked for sixty stations
I do not remember from them but the worn names
And its empty seats
The monk asks me what I came across
Seven butterflies dancing while hugging a cocoon that is about to transform?
Ten roses were tearing a perfume of musk and vineyards?
A pond of water with the image of a bird with dragon wings?
An army of ten squirrels?
Five trees bear fruit apples of light?
A constellation of twenty galaxies?
An elephant raising his golden hodge?
Or a frog stretched its lips to a fleeing prince?
The monk looked at a bottle of water that I carry
It did not keep a drop
It was watering my lost steps.
He looks at my desperate face from seeing something
In a path that cruelty sealed its eyes
I had a one-way ticket
Would he give me a return ticket to search again?
© Ashraf Aboul-Yazid
Ashraf Aboul-Yazid (1963) is an Egyptian novelist, translator and poet who has published five poetry collections. He is also a journalist in national and international institutions. His books have been translated into several languages, including English, Spanish, Persian, German, Sindhi and Russian. In addition, He won many local and international awards.
Translated from Arabic by Dr. Salwa Gouda. She is an Egyptian literary translator, critic, and academic at the English Language and Literature Department at Ain-Shams University. She holds a PhD in English literature and criticism. She received her education at Ain-Shams University and California State University in San Bernardino. She has published several academic books, including “Lectures in English Poetry, and “Introduction to Modern Literary Criticism” and others. She has also contributed to the translation of “The Arab Encyclopedia for Pioneers,” which includes poets and their poetry, philosophers, historians, and men of letters, under the supervision of UNESCO. Additionally, her poetry translations have been published in various international magazines.