Nagat Ali – Music that creeps in like light

Ali LE Arab Women P&W April 2024

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Live Encounters Arab Women Poets & Writers April 2024.

Music that creeps in like light,  flash fiction by Nagat Ali.

Translated from Arabic by Dr. Salwa Gouda. 

Music that creeps in like light

I will collect my losses from
Lost loved ones
I will write about swarms of despair
That come to me
From every direction and end
Then I will tell you about my loneliness
Which took a long time
Then I will point my hand to the cracked
Which I engraved
Part of my broken face
And stories of the painful past
I will just be happy now
Because I am listening to this
Which shone like the sun
In my soul
And it seemed like an audible light
That permeates my body
So, life was revived in it again
And spread peace
In the whole universe.

How could you disappear Helen!

How could you suddenly disappear
Without telling me
Was I not your good opponent
Who wrote a poem about you
one day?!
Your voice is heard here
With me between the walls
How did I receive the news of your passing
With all this neutrality
It is not appropriate for you
As an opponent that has tormented me for a long time
I am trying to imagine
How they covered your skinny body
And how did the angels bear
The look of your sad eyes
When they lift you up
Rushing to the sky.

© Nagat Ali

Najat Ali is an Egyptian poet who obtained a Ph.D. with first class honors from the Department of Arabic Language, Faculty of Arts, Cairo University in 2014. Her poems have been translated into several languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Kurdish, Portuguese and Romanian. She has published four collections of poetry, In addition to two books in literary criticism. She won several awards, including the Best Poetry Award for the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, 1998 and Tangier Prize for Young Arab Poets, Morocco, 2009. She was selected among the best young Arab writers at the 39th Beirut Prize in 2010. In addition, she won Naguib Mahfouz Award for Literary Criticism, Literary News Award in 2017.

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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