Momen Samir – Two gods of silence

Samir LE P&W July 2024

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing July 2024

Two gods of silence, poems by Momen Samir.

Translated from Arabic by Dr. Salwa Gouda.

Two gods of silence

The hefty building guard
Has been wandering a lot these days…
We say he sketches the face of his kind hero
As he records our tales,
And we say our tales burden his dreams like stones…
As for the other, he is my father…
The guardian of our passage’s souls
And our fading voices
Who has returned to wander a lot
In his image on the wall…
Perhaps the enigma in his gaze
Suggests that he has finally captured
A skilled storyteller…
And perhaps the tales
After losing their age
Do not wish to be recounted…

Clouds on the train window

They are not just severed arms
It is a smell that used to walk in her body
And dig channels and canals
And hunt the sun with precision of a finger
It is not just a carpet
It is a profound embrace
The princess wrapped herself in
After the last trap
We are not just dolls
We are shadows
We are stories.

© Momen Samir

Momen Samir (1975) is an Egyptian poet and writer, belonging to the modern Egyptian poetry generation of the nineties. He has published 34 books encompassing poetry, theater, critical articles, translations, and autobiographies.

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.

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