Habiba Mohamadi – Selections

Mohamadi LE Arab Women P&W April 2024

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Live Encounters Arab Women Poets & Writers April 2024.

Selections, poem by Habiba Mohamadi.

Translated from Arabic by Dr. Salwa Gouda. 



With a poem
I shake off the dust of the soul!


I Come out of the skin of the idea
I gouge out Apollo’s eye
Just like Dionysus did
For the mind!
Time is madness or wisdom
The great leap of the soul
This is my time
This is my wisdom
Perhaps my language emulates it!


You are the only one who grows with me, poem
And after forty
We die together
With a shell of awareness!


My mind is my nakedness
Adam, I was not his crooked rib
Since my lungs turned pale, I have not breathed fresh air
That’s because I left my kiss
In Paradise!


Do not cross my soul barefoot
It’s glass!


The fashion of diet, women
Are craving at, made me laugh!
I, as a little philosopher
I make a lifetime
Until I become a beautiful structure


Black milk
That is the taste of my mother’s absence
In my mouth!


My mother was a kind frond
Then she went with the wind to the mountain
And when I knead the kasra bread
Like her every Friday
My sadness becomes a mountain
Then the wind comes
Without my mother!


I did not cry when my mother died
But in the morning
They found me killed on the guillotine of a poem!


What are the characteristics of my longing?
Transparent as truth
Lofty as a polite text
For a poet in pain
Salty like a sea abandoned by its visitors
Or fragile as a child
Who sees his mother for the last time?!


My soul is planted in the nursery
Of love
If she dies, that is my grave!


A Message to “Zorba”
No, Zorba, I’m free!
Because the rope hanging around my neck
And pulls me down,
I distributed its threads
On the birds
To raise me to heaven!

© Habiba Mohamadi

Habiba Mohamadi is a well-known Algerian poet, writer, and academic who writes modern poetry and opens her text to experimentation between the flash poem, the painting, the fragment, and the epigram. She has many poetry collections and has a long history of writing for the Egyptian, Algerian, and Arab press. She has several collections of poetry and intellectual works. The most famous of them are: “The Kingdom and Exile,” “Fractures of the Face,” “The Overflow of Exile,” “Time in the Open,” “Anklets,” and other works, and some of her works have been translated into foreign languages such as English, French, and Spanish. And her latest intellectual publications: A book about the relationship between poetry and philosophy in philosophical thought, with “Nietzsche” as an example, entitled The Lust for Wisdom, the Madness of Poetry, issued by the Egyptian General Book Authority. She was honored in Algeria, and in several Arab and foreign countries, including, but not limited to, an honor from the Supreme Council of the Arabic Language in Algeria for her excellence in writing in the Arabic language and her efforts to preserve it. Her last honor was from the General Syndicate of the Egyptian Writers Union in 2023, and she was awarded the Union Shield as the first Arab writer to receive the Egyptian Writers Union Shield.

Translation by Dr. Salwa Gouda, 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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