Adeeb Kamal Ad-deen

Translated by Aabdulwahed Muhammed

An Attempt to Eulogy


Adeeb Kamal AdeenAt forty years old
At the fortieth year
I sat at the door of dreaming
The dream was as lean as a lost rendezvous
As good as Bedouin fire
The playing cards were showing its picture
With or without a crown
In a formal uniform or with ‘iqal* on head
I became aware of its silence
I wept for its pearly delicacy


At the fortieth shout
I said:
O! Dream
Whose picture is shown by the playing cards
On the right and the left
On the left and the right
How much we have missed your kindness
How much we have missed your riding
The horses and the evenings
And asking after us we the undated letter
And the futureless letters
And the content that leads us ferociously to the death arena.

On the fortieth night
My shout fell down
I collected its fragmented glass by my wounded tongues
The shout was drawn
The shout was childish like water
I said:
You whose thin picture is shown by time cards
Up and down
Down and up
How do I deplore your royal forehead?
I was the one who made the tragedy by my blood
And took the flight from the faked lion that disturbed me.


In the fortieth treasure
The suns shrank and everything vanished
The river Tigris was not drawn with ink
Nor with blood
Nor with anything
As if Tigris had never existed
I wondered of my disappointment
And of the confusion of my tales
But your treasure – treasure of history – is more wonderful
And your tale – tale of the depressed – is more complete

At the fortieth stab
I sat near your tree: the fig tree
I said to it:
O! Tree of the one whose picture is shown by trees
Time and again
I am now near you in the capitals of hunger
I pray God to make you fruitful
So that I may be satiated
And to supply you with water
So that I may satisfy my thirst
And to invoke you to write
So that I may write my song for the dream
The dream whose picture is shown by dust
As good as a lost rendezvous
As lean as a Bedouin fire


At the fortieth door
The dream had no interest in my shouts and death-rattles
Nor in my nudity and loss
The dream was over there …
Without his queens
Without his butlers and retinue
Without his guards, throne and gold
Without any of those who carry out his orders
The dream was over there …
Lying dead
Like a letter falling out of a dumb mouth
Like a love rendezvous torn by knives
like a good fire which dogs make water on.

‘iqal: a double-folded felt rope usually worn on head by Arabs

Kelmat *

Whenever I want to drink from the glass
The glass of poison
As Socrates did
I remember you
And I throw the glass away

Whenever I want to travel throughout the Heaven
As Dante did
Or to have my brother and myself lost
As Joseph’s brothers did
Or to enter the fire
As Abraham did
I remember you
And I stop traveling
And fire


All right, then
If you take me back to life
All right ……
But what is the solution
When death, my faithful friend,
Does not stop Knocking at my door?
Tell him
With the innocence of your heart
Not to come back
Ere we meet
On the peak of letter Mountain
Or in exile
Or in legend


All right, then
For me to resume practicing my role
In the drama of the lost humanity
A drama that continued from Babylon to Baghdad
To Beirut, Berlin and London
Then surely ended in hell.
All right, then
To resume practicing my role
As your father
But I cannot talk well to you
Since your alphabet is of six thousand
Years old
Nor can I dance well with you
For my white and red blood cells
Have been exhausted by oppression and captivation
Nor can I give you advices
Because you are more mature
Then the bee Queen.


That’s how things are
I bend before you
Like an emaciated lion
Grounded by years, loneliness and earthquake
I bend before you
And ask you again
Nay, I beg you as a beggar
To   let me drink the glass of poison
And I promise you that I will never drink it again,
My daughter!
* Kelmat is the name of the poet’s daughter. She is ten years old when the poet writes this poem.

An Attempt to Madness


The moon is at the door
Hung by its feet.


The whole group is self-sufficient
As a cut string.


Friends begot hither and thither
Lies and trifles.

The content is detained within his self
None can redeem it
Nor even I.


Those who died
Had written well their destroyed poems.


Yesterday I died
In the morning I, as usual, woke up.


Hunger is a letter
All you need is to envelope it
And send to you
To me.

The woman died: so did the dream, the sense and
The dawn
Her death was an occasion for other forty calamities.

Madness is beautiful
Because it is my post box; full of birds
And my future full of strata of darkness


My letters have protested
Against the grief mountains in themselves
And subdued them with a hand of steel
With patience and horror

The poet and the ruler died
The philosopher died
And the historian died
When the fruits seller died
The people, then, have protested.

My only friend who survived
Sent me a letter, full of serpents and owls
It filled my home with horror.


When I recited my poems yesterday
In a public celebration
A large mass of audience was there
I have never dreamt of.
Over there, there was none
But my heart,
My table
And my blood


Your love is a verse of light
And you; my sweetheart is
A she- prophet of darkness


When I wrote your name, I became embarrassed
I madly loved its letters
I feared that people would behold them
Nay, I feared that I would behold them myself


Where are you?
Bring back to my blood Africa’s drums
Asia’s follies
And the phantoms of the lower world.


Your love has become a poem
All the crazy people of the Earth are fond
Of it
How wonderful!


Your love has led my verse
To the essence of letters and dots
It has led me to superiority
To superiority madness


The moon is at the door
It has lifted one foot!

An Attempt to Await


   Which awaits which?
   Does the sun await the street?
   Or does the street await the people: the simpletons
   And the beggars?
   Do the fields await the bees?
   Or do the bees await death
   Or does death await darkness?
   Which awaits which?
   Does disappointment await surprise?
   Or does surprise await uselessness?
   Does futility await lies?
   Or do women await gossip?
   Which awaits which?
   Does the bridge await the Euphrates?
   Or does the Euphrates await the hunched bridge?
   Does the poet await the letters?
   Or do the letters await the dots?
   Which awaits which?
   Does the killer await the victim?
   Or does the victim await the knife?
   Does time await people to put them to death?
   Or do people wait time to beg or to become old?
   Which awaits which?
   Dows the magician await the Jin
   Or does the Jin knock at the door
   After being bored with wait?

   What a wait!
   When the sun cried I charged the street
   When the fields cried I charged the bees
   When fear cried I charged death
   When disappointment cried I charged surprise
   When women cried I charged the gossip
   When the poet cried I charged letters
   When the bridge cried I charged the Euphrates.
   What a wait!
   What a torture!
   When the killer cried I charged the victim
   When time cried I charged the people
   When the magician cried I charged the Jin.
   What a wait!
   It is said that the Jin and I
   Were awaiting
   If they knew, they would not have tolerated this
   Strange torture
   If they knew, they would have flown, flown, flown
   O! Jin
   Remember me … remember me
   I am together with you in the flask of waiting
   I am together with you in an iron flask.

An Attempt to Fly


The stork flew
The stork of my childhood
Flew farther and farther
But the meeting with it
Remained as a dream growing inside me
Like a growing fire in the crater of volcano


Alas! My ambiguous letters
Alas! My lost women
Alas! My masks that go on disgracing me
Alas! My years that follow one another
Meaninglessly or partially meaninglessly
Alas! My nakedness that besieged me
Like soldiers besieging an armless man


In times of black chairs
Dreams to fly lessen every day
They lessen
They lessen
Until they become as big as a sand grain


Who are you?
What makes me write to you my contemporary I laid?
Disclose of your selfishness
So that I can show you my orphanhood
Disclose of your miserliness
So that I can show my date palm
Disclose of your vagueness and plots
So that I can show you my explicitness and naivety
Disclose of your death
So that I can show my resurrection


I am no more than a child
Who fell in the sea, the sea of letters
He drowned and the letters wept for it
I am no more than a monk
Who saw a thin-skinned white violet undressing
He remained shivering all his life
I am no more than a feather
That came off a slaughtered bird
I am no more than s?n* of postponement
And delay and advent that does not happen


O!  My stork
When will you come so that I can stop weeping
When will you perch so that I can stop my tears to well up?
When will you perch so that I can grope happiness
In your warm beak
And sense my boyhood
To laugh through the whiteness of your wonderful feathers?


The stork is still hovering around my heart
My heart which death, hunger and fire have confiscated
My heart which the dream to fly has confiscated
What will I do?
I who possess no hands to speak with
Nor legs to fly with
Nor lips to recall with
Nor a memory for practicing magic
Nor magic for catching my wonderful stork. 

An Attempt to Luck


  To Luck
   I sent messages with a sharp tongue
   And intensive reproach:
   (You are the one who disordered my childhood
   And crushed my youth
   And confused my old age.)
   Luck laughed, saying:
   (All right
   I will make of your death
   An occasion full of joy and candles! )

   When the unlucky man learnt to utter
   His teeth came off and his words vanished!
   When he learnt to walk, the roads vanished!
   When he learnt to write
   The word became no longer meaningful nor semi- meaningful!
   When he learnt to fly, the sky disappeared!

   On the ladder of luck
   When I go a step up, the step collapses
   And the ladder seems damned deep
 The loaf is no longer a dream
   It has become a love poem
   Only recited at the presence of kings

   With a little ill-luck
   I love you, my lady
   You have a lot of names and rendezvous
   With much luck
   You replied to my poems with stabs

   The difference between the loaf and the luck is
   As feeble as the spider web
   The difference between the cloud and childhood is
   For Al-Azeez’s * wife stole their whiteness
   And Josef’s brothers sold it for a few Dirhams
   The difference between us is null
   Since we come from one and the same nihility

   (You will be merry when you die)
   That was luck’s will
   I accepted it and smiled
   Then I laughed a little
   And at length I giggled
   And at length I giggled like a maniac.
* Al-Azeez was the ruler of Egypt at Pharoa’s time




The letter has left me
And retired in a corner
It could hardly bear
The grievous mountains borne by the hands
Of my watch
It could hardly bear
My crazy loneliness
Nor my childhood that expanded
And turned into an endless sea
Nor my age which was nearly
Fifty calamities old
The letter has retired in a corner
Placed his head between his hands
And cried
I also cried until my soul flowed
I returned it to my letter
My letter cried until its dot flowed
I returned it to him ….to God


Thus I was destined
To see my head borne by spears
Like Al-Hussain’s head
To see my body ulcerate and die
Like Job’s body
To carry on my back
Prometheans Rock
In order to exchange the madness of the
Homeland by the unknown madness
The Euphrates ash by the ash of the
Crippled rivers
The joy of Tigris by the joy of the cloud
With worn-out under wears.

It was a happy day
During which I fetched a loaf
For my children, exiled far into dream
Without setting fire to Baghdad through
Haulage wars
Nor killing the disarmed simple people
Through Tamer lane wars
Now plundering females laves through
Ghingeze Khan Wars
Without Kneeling to the pharaoh of the Age
Without hoisting the Barbarians flag
Without interfering in the crippled towns’ wars.
A hot loaf
I baked it in the dream of the good letter
And in the heavenly dot whose stalk is stable
And whose heart is in the sky
But the thieves were waiting for me:
Pharaoh’s thieves
Haulage’s thieves
Tamerlane’s thieves
Ghingize Khan’s thieves
The Barbarians’ thieves
And the crippled towns’ thieves
They robbed me in the broad light
Cut my hand and blinded my eye
They stole my hot loaf
Tonight, what will I say to my children?
Tonight, what will I say to my heart?
Tonight, what will I say to my letter
And my dot?

An Attempt to Voice


   Are the occasion of my loss and exhaustion?
   So few to justify, O my voice, that you also
   Become lost and exhausted?
   You, my voice, was my throat’s nightingale
   Now as you soared father away
   My throat appeared to my eye-witness
   As a cold cage of iron

   Nobody can help me
   In my trial
   The doctors remained silent
   The medicines became mute
   The prayer trembled between my fingers
   The only thing on the phone line was my tears
   Shouting: hello, hello

   As the pit of my grave deepens more and more
   The poetry I write grows deeper and deeper
   What an irony!

   O! Friends! Pay attention
   The nightingale flew away
   And the crow laughed

   When will you light?
   Tell me: when will you light?
   Or am I front of me member by member
   Find myself die?

O my voice, the bird
Light down ... I will not whip you as a slave,
I will not let you thirst to death
Nor shout at you as mad men
I will not ask you to sing needlessly nor to protest
Nor to part with the text
When the text gets stupid.
 Light down, Bird!
I will not let Sophocles pull out his creatures’ eyes
On the stage of my blood
Nor At-Tawhidi 1 burn his books every night
In the desert of my dream
Nor Al–Maarri 2 die alone
As I do
And as you do.
1: At-Tawhidi is one of the Arabic great philosophers who burns his book at the end of his life.
2: Al–Maarri is one of the Arabic famous poet and philosopher.




   The kiss is a she-gazelle 
   The date is two eyes, a Sahara and a gun

   The kiss is a love poem
   The date is a stab in the belly


   The kiss is a butterfly
   The date is golden fish


   The kiss is wonderful tenderness
   The date is a big bed


   The kiss is a feast
   The date is gay children
   In the middle of streets, crammed with
   Horse-pulled carriages


   The kiss is vagueness
   The date is an attempt to decipher the puzzles


   The kiss is a lie
   The date is a false witness

   The kiss is separation
   The date is a song, glorifying separation


   The kiss is an extinguished smile on a drunkard’s
   The date is a fragmented glass


   The kiss is a legend
   The date is a world legend conference


   The kiss is a wait
   The date is the poems of wait
   Written in Cuneiform, Sanskrit and Arabic
   On the existence book


   The kiss is a blossom
   The date is a garden full of honey


   The kiss is a green coast
   The date is a poet who desists smoking hope


   The kiss is a star
   The date is the sky held by a she-lover’s palm


   The kiss is a drowning person
   The date is a bottomless sea


   The kiss is your astounding eyelash
   The date is your smile that guides me
   Every night to delicious death
   And it does not leave me until the cock crows


   The kiss is the dot of your n?n * or the n?n of
   Your lost dot
   The date is an alphabet revealing the talismans
   Of the world
   But they do not how to bring you back home


   The kiss is friendship
   The date is an engagement until death


   The kiss is a chair
   The date is a bed


   The kiss is a key
   The date is a body


   The kiss is a violin
   The date is a love dance


   The kiss is a tear
   The date is a swift shooting of rain drenching
   Lovers in the Pleasure Garden


   The kiss is a cry
   The date is a romantic plot


   The kiss is a green chamber
   The date is closed curtains

   The kiss is a song
   The date is a singer, a composer and a poet
   They all have cried because of the beautiful
   Tune and words


   The kiss is pleasant hustle
   The date is secret willow rows

   The date is a lost child
   The date is a bride lamenting her staggering

   The kiss is a day dream
   The date is heresy and hallucination


   The kiss is a poem of a top level
   The date is a collection of love poetry
   Every character in it is your name


   The kiss is a window
   The date is a country home
   Looking upon the sun and the duck


   The kiss is a pleasure
   The date is a call for writing on it
   As a cureless deep death


   The kiss is your dreamy eyes
   The date is your lips; abandoning their
   Wonderful miserliness

   The kiss is a love hour
   The date is a wedding night
   And the wedding candles
   And the bride’s white dress

   The kiss is you
   The date is you ............ of course !
* Arabic letter


An Attempt at Remembrance




Here I am!
I come back to your remembrance,
Come back like a beaten army
So, do not try with me your attempt
To count the wounded and missing.


O letter
Your dot was a winter fire
And smoke of a happy cigarette.
Your dot was the suns caught in hand,
A vague summer full of kisses
And abrupt entrance to the happy absurd.


After your parting,
My death began as a mythical festival.
When I asked about its name,
I was boxed on my mouth
Until my blood flowed.

Here I am!
I come back to you
Like an addict who decided
For the thousandth time
To give up drink
And managed so every time!


After you was my mirror
That smiled to my smile
And got excited at my coming,
You became my absurdity that seized me
Wherever it saw me,
Or whenever it remembered one letter
Of my broken letters.


I do not conceal this secret from you;
After you left, I turned into a sharp zero,
A perpetual loss,
And into poetry people loved
But I did not
Because it was bleeding
Only an intensive bleeding.


I do not conceal this secret from you;
After your green night,
The nights became fragments.
After your fresh bed
The beds were no more than death beds.
After your room on the top
The rooms rendered into basements.
After your sharp kiss and honey saliva,
The kisses became killed birds.
And after your words as good as childhood,
Words became artificial teeth.

After you left, time got lost
And nobody knew where.
I asked everything about everything
But nothing answered me about anything.
I published an advertisement
In all the newspapers,
Asking, where, where and where
So, I was accused of mystery
Forgetfulness and non-whereness.

I fancied women to be like you;
Trees of green and fruit of gold,
But my fancy was naked,
And my nakedness was great.
I fancied the towns to be like yours
To be myths of black love, kisses of fire
And stormy meetings like glassfuls of alcohol
But I found them towns of dead people
Who communicated through barking
And offered each other
Nothing but bouquets of insults.