Abeer Abdelhafez Abdelaal – The Third World

Abdelhafez LE P&W June 2024

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing June 2024.

The Third World, poems by Abeer Abdelhafez Abdelaal.

Translated from Arabic to English by Dr. Salwa Gouda.

The Third World

Open the door of the air
Its locks are slippery algae
From the heights of the eastern skies
Go west.
You will wear the Chinese shoe
And you man, you will wrap your head
And you woman, you will wrap your head too
You will twist your tongue with the vowels
You will merge the consonants
You will tremble at the moment of greeting
You will think in languages and speak in others
You will shake your head as if you understand
And your shoulders as if you don’t care.
The emerald of your eye will fade
The olive of your eye will inhale
The color of spectrum will shatter in your gaze
You will learn to cry in another language
In silence
The snake will dwell in your guts
And will not leave
The universe will become your friend
Not humans.

You will transmit your talk to the leaves of the trees
Because it is the oldest
You will converse with birds in sign language
And squirrels will approach because you do not eat them
The bald old woman will secretly stare at you
The white child will rejoice in your face
And the blonde Machu will stare at you.

You will die and live
Twenty-four times each day
Only your fingerprints will remain
Maps will float on your face page
And prayers will erupt from your ears
Invoking one God.

The parrot on the sixth floor balcony

He used to speak every morning
To passersby and those returning
And in the evening to God
In the negligence of thick eyes
“Affaf” places for him grains, water, and peeled fruits
She scolds him for his weekly escape
When he sneaks to the balcony of the fifth floor
In the opposite building
A cold joke seeps into his hot blood
His whistle rises, turning into screams and moans
Hoping to return to the silent ceilings of boredom
The walls of the house painted in pale white
The warmth of the room filled with cinnamon and cloves
The clicks of the typewriter
The creak of the door after the wedding night
And the birth of the delicate-legged girl
Born in her last month
We all go in search of “Coco”
We run out of the buildings through the streets
We follow a whistle like lamentations
We distribute in neighboring streets
We knock on black and brown wooden doors
We wander into the rooms
We hear but see nothing
We return defeated
We drown in a half-dead slumber
We go the next day, hearing knocks and whistles
We open the door and are met with mocking eyes
Thirty years have passed
He left, and after him “Affaf”.

© Abeer Abdelhafez Abdelaal

Abeer Abdelhafez Abdelaal is a full professor of Spanish language and Hispanic literature at Cairo University and a translator. She studied Master and PhD at Complutense Madrid and Cairo University. Her research area focuses on contemporary Latin American narrative and poetry (XX–XXI), comparative studies, contemporary Arabic narrative, and Latin American Orientalism. She published several articles in Spanish and Arabic. Published more than 35 books translated from Spanish to Arabic and vice versa. She is, also, founder of the Wikipedia project – Translation from Spanish into Arabic in Arab Universities.

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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