Amal Awwad Radwan




Amal Awwad Radwan is a Palestinian poet, musician, writer, essayist, journalist, educator and social activist. She was born in the town of I’billin in the north of Palestine. She made her debut in 20005 with a poetry book titled An Almondy Flower Glowing. Since then she has published four poetry collections and seven books on different topics, including literature, biography, criticism, and sociological studies. As a journalist, she has covered a plethora of cultural activities within and outside Palestine.

Amal’s poetry has been translated into English, French, Italian, Persian, Romanian, and Kurdish languages. She has received numerous literary awards from various literary organizations. She has participated in a number of poetry readings and festivals in Palestine, Jordan, and Morocco.

Amal Awwad Radwan’s poems are translated from the original Arabic into English by poet and translator Nizar Sartawi.


The Evening Guitar

You strutted down, a nightingale wet with my sunset
prancing with my high-heeled dream!
You flapped the wings of my abandoned ether
and I took you in my arms, a gazelle of fog I carved with the awl of my fate.

To a spacious weariness in the heights of imagination
the boats of my fiery life led me
And you.. have never ceased to live like a canopy
on the bank of my ivory time!

We are the ones overtaken by idiotic road-bends
Our falling life
runs fast
How could we salvage what’s been left of our pine’s footsteps?!
A handful of answers from senile needles
groping for the paths of mumblings towards you
with a smile
that takes off me my body and the spells of my apprehensions
dresses me in celibate violets
enclosed by amulets from your eyes
eternalizing me
nesting my virgin mornings
on the throne of your chastity!

I am he who embraced the twin paradises of your eyes
You alone.. can set me free from the memory of oblivion
You alone
demand from my soul her blind night;
during the phases of the dawn
and the ends of my ancient insomnia
and we… o v e r f l o w
as a prayer of silence!
O evening guitar; be glorified,
shake like an earthquake, rejoice..
turn the bosom of my sky into turquoise with a full moon’s whisper
that beseeches you
grant abundance to my heart’s river with a tattoo of joy
that dyes me with your forgiveness

From the balconies of dawn
get birds of reunion to chirp
to crack the fence of the mist
to turn me into a Lote tree with the prayers of your angels

On the right of the throne is your Lote tree of the utmost boundary;
Made so tender by your celibate breaths
studded with the whiteness of your faithfulness!


My Jungles are Crowded with Tigers

I am the one mounted by the desolation of loss
praising.. the charm of your serenity
Never have I forgotten.. the memory of your sacred herbs
When they turn.. into a unique scream!
Never have I forgotten herbs..
not breathed.. save by a breeze..
laden.. with the bunches of my yearning and longing
Nor have I forgotten your gazelles
pulsing with my dreamy tenderness!
But for centuries
I’ve been prohibited from entering your paradise!
That is where I desire to be.. as it melts generously
That is my greenhouse.. so filled with sighs
No longer does my life go in the nude..
When you throw the windows of your tenderness… wide open!
Your majesty
I swear by your bends
by the bottom of your valleys
My cloud caravans have become so scorching
and this wild leonine thing within me
is becoming a giant
grazing my forests.. so crowded with tigers
O my belle
I was born.. to burn for you
I’ve become so proficient in leaning
on your clouds
on your yearning.. on your madness
and I have long submitted.. to my dream
waiting for you!



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