Mohamed Elramady

 

BIO

Mohamed Elramady is an Egyptian poet who lives in Alexandria. He has published five collections of poetry: أتَوضأُ بِنُورِ عَينيكِ [I Wash in the Light of Your Eyes], 2011; العشق بعد المداولة [Love after Deliberation], 2010; رَمَادِيَّاتٌ وأَلْوَانٌ أُخْرَىٰ عَام [Ramadyat and Other Colors], 2009;حينَ يَتَكَلَّمُ النَّبْضُ [When the Pulse Speaks], 2009; and أَغَانِي عَابِرِ سَبِيلٍ [Songs of a Wayfarer], 2006. In 2013, a sixth collection, جدَارِيَّةُ العِشْقِ والأَلَم, was submitted for publication, accompanied by the English translation [The Mural of Passion and Pain], and the Italian translation [Il Murale di Passione e dolore]. Mohamed Elramady’s poems have been translated to Italian, English, Turkish, French, Indonesian, German, and Hindi, and he has participated in poetry readings in Egypt and Lebanon. His poems have been published in Bahrain and Iraq. Elramady is a member of the Lebanese Organization of Permanent Cultural Dialogue, whose mission is to spread the culture of dialogue and tolerance.

Mohamed Elramady’s poems are translated from the original Arabic into English by poet and translator Nizar Sartawi.

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The Farewell Poem

When the bird of freedom chirped
they shot him
the alphabets dropped from his mouth as he went down
forming a farewell poem.

A modern question

Pens joined forces against me
I drew into myself like a shell.
Neither welcomes nor greetings for him
who leaves with me a poem
bleeding at the edge of the sky
calling on death
and none comes to her but universal nymphs
Has poetry been created but to fly without wings
and walk without feet
and go without a compass
to reside with a thousand identities
in the conscience of humanity?


My right to have my beloved

I demand the right to go back to the heart of my beloved
the eye of my beloved
the dream of my beloved
For there…
is the rock from which I ascended higher
and saw with my own eye
how my alphabets transformed into gold
and my words into light
and the angels washed me of my sins
My misery then transformed into joy
and insomnia abandoned me
so I slept in her bosom

I demand the right to return to the source of my magical inspiration
and my pure beloved
so that I can play like a little child
on her pure soil
on a day of celebration
For she comes third after Allah and His Messenger
Third after my mother and father
Third after water and life
She comes in the universe before the stars
and before the moon

I demand the right to return
before the day of judgment
before the sun sets in the East
for with her I understood perpetual glory
and prayed on her threshold
And called on the Lord
That I never lift my sword except in the face of falsehood

I demand the right to return
so that we can breed and multiply
she and I
so she’d gives birth to gods of peace
and gods of freedom
and gods of justice and beauty,
other than those mythical gods,
that myths will talk about
when they return with truth

I demand the rejection of pledges
all pledges
the pledge of blood
the pledge of captivity
the pledge of chains
all but the pledge to the Lord
So do not let me plead on the borders for long
kissing the gates and begging
Suffering with anguish
and longing and fervor

By God, tell me
How did the traitors expel me from her heart?
And I
never ate the apple
How did my body become bare through some agent?
and I became like a drifter in the paths of the universe?.
Who defends me today
and fights
to send me back to the heart of my beloved?
or bring me a mulberry leaf
to cover my body, and my nakedness
or to make it my shroud
on the day I die
By God, tell me
before I die.

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POEMS OF NIZAR SARTAWI

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