Basheer Refat – Hemingway’s Plight

Refat LE P&W July 2024

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing July 2024

Hemingway’s Plight, poems by Basheer Refat.

Translated from Arabic by Dr. Salwa Gouda.

Hemingway’s Plight

He dreamed of being
In the position of the old man
So, he created the old man
To teach him the lesson of age
And the dream that grew
For the sake of a valuable catch.

The old man taught him to be patient
And to embrace the night
To catch the sun.

The old man learned
So he caught the fish
And the teacher failed
So he shot himself.

Nothing is Insignificant

A small latch
Ensures the safety of the sleeping house
And the kernel thrown in the road
Is a date palm’s seed in the unseen.

The bird
Doesn’t build its nest on the ground
Or under the tree
But above it
To welcome the sun
Before it touches the soil
That’s how it shapes its tomorrow from today
And makes a home for the sky from the straw.

Nothing is insignificant
The key that delves into your pocket
Is the sole master of the house
Allowing you to leave early
And return late
Or suddenly return
To discover a notable betrayal.

© Basheer Refat

Basheer Refat (1972) is an Egyptian poet and translator. He obtained a Doctorate in Modern Arabic Literature and Criticism in 2013. He has published six collections of poetry He also translated and published selections of poetry by the American poet (Mark Strand). He received many international and local awards, most notably the “Innovators” Award from the Emirates 2004, and the Egyptian Writers Union Award in Poetry 2018.

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.

2 Replies to “Basheer Refat – Hemingway’s Plight”

  1. You can notice no difference if you treat Basheer as a poet or as a human. He will impress you in all cases. He is a well-standard being. If you want to read his poems, be ready to roll with the punches but be sure you will enjoy.

  2. Dr. Basher is a wonderful poet and a great translator as well. I read these two poems in Arabic before and glad to read them here in English.

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