Akram Alkatreb / The utopian poet

book cover hi

Akram Alkatreb est poète. Akram Alkatreb est syrien. Akram Alkatreb est un poète syrien. Qui écrit. Qui regarde. Qui envoie des textes. Que nous lisons. Que nous aimons. C’est un vent venu d’une autre frontière… Se contenter de les envoyer, de les donner à voir et à entendre. S’effacer en laissant chaque lecteur penser ce qu’il veut… En laissant libres les émotions… Vous trouverez en avant première les poèmes d’Akram en anglais.

Your Country seems the last place on  earth

I did not believe that poetry is 5000 years old,

I did not know that the clouds, which I used to follow during my childhood to the mountains, which is close to the fields of sunflowers, will become magical carpets for unfulfilled dreams.

I used to visit these magical places in which old poets sit,

after crossing thousands of miles,

to read a line of poetry,

then they wander to an unknown land.

In Mesopotamia, the Canaanite coast, and the  Nile Valley, the gods were inventing writing and poetry was written in the language of the wind’s inhabitants.

there are persons building their hanging gardens alone.

the portrait of al-Mutannabi on a horse wandering between Aleppo and the cities of Hama, was sufficient to me.

And al-Mu’arri, whose blindness did not prevent him from knowing the world and traveling in it, without leaving the threshold of his house.

And Sarkon Pols, who left his city, Kirkuk, in 1960s to Beirut, crossing rivers and deserts

Under the burning sun of Iraq on his feet, holding

under his arms poems that he wrote for the sake of Shiir Magazine;

Or the Egyptian poet, who described the two arms of his beloved with honey and gold 3000 years ago.

There is no eternal truth, or a specific dictionary that can explain the horrors that happened due to that secret nimbleness,

Which erase the soul and saves it.

Sapho’s Greek heart will pulse until death.

Virgil will build Ithaca and send

Odysseus to the oceans, while Penelope waits for him on the beach, or for other lovers.

For the sake of the one whose age is 5000 years Dante Alighieriwas exiled outside Florence

To be a wanderer in exile, and feel hunger and being killed by emotion and disappointment,

While Rimbaud will die in Yemen from gangrene and Lorca will be killed as a winged horse

Guarded by Andalusia shepherds on the hill.

I did not believe that poetry is 5000 years old until I read Aragon’s poems about Elsa’s eyes,

And knew the weak description which did not protect those who fell in the Syrian cities in front of their houses.

But it illuminated the blindness of the world

This slow and lazy one.

Damascus Road

I think, for example, of riding a taxi

and hiding in the mountain, near Ibn Arabi’s shrine.

The photographer wants to take a photo for you on Damascus’s road,

While your sons are waiting for you at John the Baptist’s house:

Here, where a complete life happens for an angel from the Middle Ages.

At that hour,

wounds are higher than the ground

And wings grow to people.

The Utopian Poet

What forces you to live with me?

Am I beautiful to this extent?

Or is happiness, which was more beautiful than a piece of fabric woven by the hand?

We, who father children, and the house lovers,

We feel tired quickly and sleep before hens

after a debate on potato, cholesterol and fried fish.

And the blood that flows in the television and the diesel engines

Are not enough to utter a cry

That makes the utopian poet

Write a sentence on the naked people while dying

And their souls lie down at the end of the night

Like the trees of far farms.

The City of the Blind

Barefoot, I want to walk towards you

unable to pay for a ride.

Cut from a tree that bends in front of your house

I want to escape to the age of 21

Because I was unable to forget the odor of your body

In the city of the blind.

A Family drinking tea in a far house

Pains, will we need you until the end of the year?

Only with a few thousands of years or for a shorter time

Go, with the clothes of the shepherd who was born on the edges of the desert

And follow the child’s barefoot in the kingdom of plants

Which is folded on its silence and laughs for a moment:

Draws two wings on the wall

And a family that drinks tea in a far house

That no one can reach.

Your country Seems as the last Place on the Face of the Earth

For example:

You can boast of your difficult life, with a weak soul,

While eating sausages at a train’s station.

You breathe in the strange place,

while your country is last place on the face of earth,

you hold it on your shoulder as a necessary goods for nostalgia.

Everyday silly crimes are committed,

And massacres to agape people there,

who are younger or older than you.

there are also some who ask for help on the theatre’s platform.

Death is no longer equal to anything

While the mortar artillery positioned on Qassioun mountain

Bomb the outskirts of Damascus,

But the horses die at the feet of the virgin,

The horses are slaughtered half a century ago.

The horses that sleep on bread

do not feel the pain now.

The Poem of the StreetsAkram_04

The Streets, which we used to cross

among Baramki, Bab Musalla, the road of Old Zahira

Until we rreach Al-Tadamun neighborhoods during noon and in my age in that burned time.

I pointed to her house from the minibus window,

We looked inside the minibus like the dead of the sea sepulchers

Stuffed inside like statues with button less shirts.

It was enough to find the key to the house above the electricity’s meter,

When darkens overwhelms the city.


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