Ahmad Al-Shahawy – The Unbearable Pain

Shahawy LE P&W March 2024

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing March 2024.

The Unbearable Pain, poems by Ahmad Al-Shahawy.

Dr Salwa GoudaTranslated from Arabic by Dr. Salwa Gouda.

The Unbearable Pain

The unbearable pain
Is sleeping on my pillow
While confusion is eating
The thoughts in my head
Even anxiety dared on me
It stole my clothes
The ruin is wiping the marble
As if it were its own house
And madness raised a red card in my face
It warns me of what is coming
It asks me to stand attentive
Whenever it hits the ground with
Its stolen shoes.

My Tower has no Pigeons

My tower is without pigeons
The house is empty
And no passion
Why sadness if
You can live with
A letter with one cell
With an eye that witnesses
Two quarreling clouds?
Why do you think of a rope with
Which to hold for protection
And your field did not grow
Flax or terry
Do your Nile fell asleep after
Water clipped its nails?

You do not like complaining
Because you were not a coward
Nor a flute that slept from an absent pain
Nor a fox that deceived in the morning
To gain the sun.

You do not like too much talk about love
Since your name became the converser of love
Whenever the wind carried it towards the
Although the park is empty
And the well without ink
And the tower of the heart flew
To a scorpion as if you are
Death and birth.

© Ahmad Al-Shahawy

Ahmad Al-Shahawy is an Egyptian poet and the author of more than 20 books and poetry collections. His poems have been translated into many languages, including French, Italian, English, Turkish and Spanish. He participated in many international poetry festivals organized in many countries of the world. Al-Shahawy was also the recipient of the UNESCO Literature Award in 1995 and the Cavafy Poetry Award in 1998. Four of his literary works are nominated in the long list of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in the branch of literature, including his novel The Magician’s Hijab 2022. Also, recently, Lavender Ink / Diálogos published Al-Shahawy’s poetry anthology entitled Alone by the Nile, 2023.

Dr. Salwa Gouda 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.

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