Arabic Translations

 Poetic Justice: Anthology of 

 Moroccan Contemporary Poetry 

 

Poetic Justice is a volume of Moroccan Contemporary poetry. With a nod to the romantic nationalism of the 1930s and 40s, the work is comprised of poets who began writing after Moroccan independence in 1956.

Deborah Kapchan began working on these translations in 1994 when she lived in Rabat. The movement to instantiate Moroccan Arabic as a literary language was just beginning in those years. I attended a festival of zajal – Moroccan poetry in dialect – where both Ahmed Lemsyeh and Driss Mesnaoui were reading. Impressed with their oeuvre, she began translating their work into English. I attended meetings of the Moroccan Writer’s Union. she met other poets, most writing in classical Arabic. She had a decisive meeting with poet and literary scholar Mohammed Bennis. She travelled to Tangier to hear Wafa Lamrani read, and sought her out in Casablanca. She was interviewed on television, as a scholar interested in contemporary poetry. The project was on. She quickly turned her attention to classical Arabic, and then to French.

Why "Poetic Justice"?

Moroccan poetry (and especially zajal) is published in newspapers and is thus a vibrant form of social commentary. Poetic Justice because there is a law, a justice, in the aesthetic act that speaks back to the law of the land. Poetic Justice because literature has the power to shape the cultural and moral imagination in profound ways (Nussbaum 1995).

Largely thanks to the internet, Moroccan poets speak to international audiences in journals such as Banipal and Arabic Literature (in English). Well-known poets like Marilyn Hacker have brought Rachida Madani to the English-speaking world. Pierre Joris and Habib Tengour have brought a millennium of North African poets together in one volume. International poetry festivals like the PEN Writers festival in New York City have welcomed Moroccan poets and writers, as have organizations such as Citylore. The journal Souffles is now thriving.

Poetic Justice is a contribution to these ongoing endeavors. It is by no means a history of Moroccan poetry. Indeed, the youngest generation of poets are not represented here. Reading the oeuvre from independence until the new millenium however, it is clear that what Driss Mesnaoui calls the “letters of time” have fallen into the hands of Moroccan poets, as they translate and write what they and their readers are.

Click on the poem title to see the Arabic translation.

“Untitled” by Fatma Benkirane 2104

Abdelghani, Mahmoud. 2004. Flowers. The Return of the Violin Maker. Toubkal Publishing House, Casablanca. p. 54

Abdelghani, Mahmoud. 2004. Stars Scolding Me. The Return of the Violin Maker. Toubkal Publishing House, Casablanca. p. 89-90.

Abdelghani, Mahmoud. 2004. Oh White Paper. The Return of the Violin Maker. Toubkal Publishing House, Casablanca. p. 14-15.

Abdelghani, Mahmoud. 1998. From Age to Age. A Rock behind the Earth. Toubkal Publishing House, Casablanca. p. 42.

Al-Achaari, Mohamed. 2000. Russian Doll. Stone Tales. Toubkal Publishing House, Casablanca. p. 37-38.

Al-Achaari, Mohamed. 2000. Usual Ends. Stone Tales. Toubkal Publishing House, Casablanca. p. 19-20.

Al-Achaari, Mohamed. 2000. A Lesson in Bitterness. Stone Tales. Toubkal Publishing House, Casablanca. p. 21-22.

Al-Achaari, Mohamed. 2000. A Balcony over Asphalt. Stone Tales. Toubkal Publishing House, Casablanca. p. 33-34.

Al-Achaari, Mohamed. 2000. A Stone Tale. Stone Tales. Toubkal Publishing House, Casablanca. p. 39-41.

Adnan, Yassin. 2002. Fishermen in Harvesting Clothes. The Wharf of Resurrection. Dar al mada, Damascus. p. 11-16.

Adnan, Yassin. 2002 Winter. On the Way to the Year Two-thousand. Al-Bayt (Journal), N. 3, The House of Poetry in Morocco. p. 35-38.

Aissa, Idriss. The Wild Book.

Aissa, Idriss, Palm.

Aissa, Idriss, Elegies for Mina.

Aissa, Idriss, Nathaniel.

Akhrif, Mehdi. 2003. Lightening without Rain. The Complete Works, Volume II. Ministry of Culture.  p. 86-87.

 

Akhrif, Mehdi. 2003. Women. The Complete Works, Volume II. Ministry of Culture.  p. 80-81.
 

Akhrif, Mehdi. 2003. Notebook of Loss. The Complete Works, Volume I. Ministry of Culture.  p. 95-98.

Al-Aasimi, Malika. 1998. My Name is Rain. Writings outside the Walls of the World. Ouyoun Al-Maqaalaat, Casablanca.  p. 56-61.

Al-Aasimi, Malika. 1998. Creation. Writings outside the Walls of the World. Ouyoun Al-Maqaalaat, Casablanca.  p. 7-8.

Al-Aasimi, Malika. 1998. Something with Many Names. Writings outside the Walls of the World. Ouyoun Al-Maqaalaat, Casablanca.  p. 25-28.

Al-Amrani, Wafa. 2002. Ready for You. Ready for You. Afrique-Orient Publications, Casablanca-Beyrouth.  p. 7-18.

Al-Amrani, Wafa. 2002. Hymn of Wafaa/Fidelity. Ready for You. Afrique-Orient Publications, Casablanca-Beyrouth.  p. 77-87.

Al-Amrani, Wafa. 2002. Footsteps of Embers. Ready for You. Afrique-Orient Publications, Casablanca-Beyrouth.  p. 89-102.

Al-Aoufi, Boujemaa. Baghdad a City Enriched by Uranium.

Al-Aoufi, Boujemaa. 2000 Autumn. These Odd Probabilities. Al-Bayt (Journal), N° 1. The House of Poetry in Morocco.  p. 21-24.

Ammach, Jamal. Sentences Refusing Love.

Azghai, Abdelaziz. Childhood Nursery Rhyme.

Barakat, Ahmed. 1994. Caution. Notebooks of Losses. Publications of the Union of Moroccan Writers, Rabat.  p. 97-98.

Barakat, Ahmed. 1994. The Afternoon Wind. Notebooks of Losses. Publications of the Union of Moroccan Writers, Rabat.  p. 86.

Basri, Aicha. 2003. Shama. The Insomnia of Angels. Okad Publishing House, Rabat.

Boudouma, Jamal. Cartoons are in my house.

Boudouma, Jamal. Mischievous Boys Torturing the Morning in the Bathrooms.

Boudouma, Jamal. A dead man holding a rose and laughing.

Boujbiri, Mohamed. 1993. Spirits. You Will Not Get Out of the Others. Publications of the Moroccan Union of Writers, Rabat.  p. 21-22.

Hamrouch, Abdeddine. 2001. The Perfume of Love. Only. Publications of The Union of Moroccan Writers, Rabat.  p. 65.

Jawahri, Abderrafie. 1994. The Head of Rock. Something like a Shade. Tinmel Press, Marrakech.  p. 14-15.

Jawahri, Abderrafie. 1994. The Ancient Wall. Something like a Shade. Tinmel Press, Marrakech.  p. 10-11.

Kadiri, Morad. 1995. Features of the Hand. Lines of the Hand. Cordoba Publishing House, Casablanca.  p. 14-17.

Qadiri, Morad. The Stake.

Khoudari, Najib. Players.

Khoudari, Najib. The Kingdom of the Sun.

Khoudari, Najib. Passage.

Khoudari, Najib. Behind the Night.

 

Khoudari, Najib. Tremor.

 

Khoudari, Najib. Hands of Air.

Khoudari, Najib. Roar.

Laalaj, Tayeb. My Lady, My Beard.

Lemsyeh, Ahmed. 2005. The Fool’s Scribbles (Scrawls). Water’s Shadow. pp. 25-44.

Lemsyeh, Ahmed. 1998. Watching the Soul. The Soul’s Shadow. Self-edited and published. pp. 3-26.

Maimouni, Mohamed. 1995. Return. The River’s Path. Al Haram Press, Tetuan. pp. 47-48.

Maimouni, Mohamed. Eulogy for a Meteor.

Majdouline, Touriya. 2005. Inscription of the Soul. A Sky Resembling Me a Little. Dar Athaqafa, Casablanca. pp. 19-26.

Majdouline, Touriya. 2005. No Time to Steal Sighs. A Sky Resembling Me a Little. Dar Athaqafa, Casablanca. pp. 19-26.

Mansouri, Zohra. 2000. The Mirror. Recitiations. Toubkal Publishing House, Casablanca. pp. 37-38.

Mansouri, Zohra. Van Gogh’s Evening.

Meliani, Driss. 1998. Profile. The Snow Flower. Dar Athaqafa Press, Casablanca. pp. 7-8.

Meliani, Driss. The Cave of the Demoness. The Wind Cave.

Meliani, Driss. The Oil Press. The Wind Cave.

Meliani, Driss. The Narrow Path. The Wind Cave.

Mesnaoui, Driss. The Earth’s Nuptials.

Mesnaoui, Nafis. Cinema.

Moumni, Rachid. 2001. Blood. Las noches azules del alma. Fondacion de Altos Estudios Euroarabes, Granada. p. 42.

Moumni, Rachid. 2001. Her call. Las noches azules del alma. Fondacion de Altos Estudios Euroarabes, Granada. p. 50.

Moumni, Rachid. 2002. The Ladder of Comfusion. Cradles of Scions. Maison d’édition Post-Modernité, Fes. p. 51.

Moumni, Rachid. 2001. With what's left of lightening. Las noches azules del alma. Fondacion de Altos Estudios Euroarabes, Granada. p. 26.

Moussaoui, Abdessalam. A Jungle of Letters.

Moussaoui, Abdessalam. Incantations for the Opening of the Great Gate.

Moussaoui, Abdessalam. Tamer of Satan.

Moussaoui, Jamal. 2001. One such Boy. The Book of Shade. Publications of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, Rabat. p. 13

Moussaoui, Jamal. 2001. Splinters of a Returning Dream. The Book of Shade. Publications of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, Rabat. p. 5.

Moussaoui, Jamal. 2001. The Wind’s Memory of a Misty Woman. The Book of Shade. Publications of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, Rabat. pp. 11-12.

Ouassat, Moubarak. 2001. Places. Down the Stairway to Deep Waters. Okad Publications, Rabat. p. 50.

Ouassat, Moubarak. 2001. A Dance. Girded by Archipelagoes. Okad Publications, Rabat. p. 46.

Ouassat, Moubarak. 2001. Details of Bewilderment. Down the Stairway to Deep Waters. Okad Publications, Rabat. pp. 53-55. 

Ouassat, Moubarak. 2001. Innocence. Girded by Archipelagoes. Okad Publications, Rabat. pp. 22-23.

Ouazzani, Hassan. 1997. Seedling of Dust. A Certain Truce. Publications of the Moroccan Union of Writers, Rabat.

Salhi, Mohamed. 2004. Water Murmur. I Trip Over Gold. Aini Bennai Publications, Casablanca. p. 9.

Salhi, Mohamed. 2004. Alchemy. I Trip Over Gold. Aini Bennai Publications, Casablanca. p. 11.

Salhi, Mohamed. 2004. Bed. I Trip Over Gold. Aini Bennai Publications, Casablanca. p. 12.

Salhi, Mohamed. 2004. Dozing. I Trip Over Gold. Aini Bennai Publications, Casablanca. p. 10.

Salhi, Mohamed. 2004. Paradox. I Trip Over Gold. Aini Bennai Publications, Casablanca. p. 28.

Sebbagh, Mohammed. 2003. All That Was Yesterday. Collection of Moroccan Romantic Poetry. Publications of the Ministry of Culture, Kingdom of Morocco. pp. 189-190.

Sabbagh, Mohamed. 1995. Absurdity. Gusts. Al-Boukili Publishing House, Kenitra. p. 74.

Sabbagh, Mohamed. 1995. Sleep my Angel. I demand revenge for words. Al-Boukili Publishing House, Kenitra. pp. 99-100.

Sabbagh, Mohamed. 1995. Summer. Gusts. Al-Boukili Publishing House, Kenitra. p. 69.

Sabbagh, Mohamed. 1995. The Wind. Gusts. Al-Boukili Publishing House, Kenitra. p. 48.

Serghini, Mohamed. 2001. Celebrating the Kingdom’s Ashes. Fez from the Highest Summits of Deceit. Maison d’édition Post-Modernité, Fes. pp. 3-7.

Tebbal, Abdelkrim. 2004. An Andalusian Alley.

Tebbal, Abdelkrim. 2003. Another Skin.

Tebbal, Abdelkrim. 2004. Strangers.