Three Poems

Ghada Samman

A Rebellious Owl

Why do I write? Perhaps because my alphabet

Avenges itself against the oppressors

Who try to shine their shoes with my inkwell

And this blue wine that just spilled upon my paper

Seems to me the alphabet’s blood

So take it …drink it  .…

For ink is sobriety’s wine.

An Owl Whose Heart is in Beirut

I still love you,

In spite of it all

For, at your shores I learned

How to drink moonlight from a seashell.

A Revived Owl

Every time you embrace me

I become a virgin again,

I feel it is my wedding night!


– Translated from the Arabic by Noel Abdulahad

From “Dancing With the Owl.” Manshurat Ghada

Samman, Beirut, 2003.

These poems appeared in Al Jadid,Vol. 11, no. 52 (Summer 2005)

Copyright (c) 2006 by Al Jadid

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