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Arabian Love Poems

4.52 of 5 stars 4.52  ·  rating details  ·  236 ratings  ·  23 reviews
This translation of Nizar Kabbani's poetry is accompanied by the striking Arabic texts of the poems, penned by Kabbani especially for this collection. Kabbani was a poet of great simplicity - direct, spontaneous, musical, using the language of everyday life. He was a ceasless campaigner for women's rights, and his verses praise the beauty of the female body, and of love. H ...more
Paperback, 225 pages
Published December 1st 1998 by Lynne Rienner Publishers (first published 1975)
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"I hope one day
You will no longer be
Fearful like a rabbit.
Then you will know
I am not your hunter
I am your lover."

Nizar Qabbani is a poet for people who think they hate poetry. If Qabbani and Neruda had ever been in a room together I think romantics everywhere would have experienced an world-wide spontaneous orgasm.
Lilianne Fan

"Love happened at last,
And we entered God's paradise,
Under the skin of the water
Like fish.
We saw the precious pearls of the sea
And were amazed.
Love happened at last
Without intimidation…with symmetry of wish.
So I gave…and you gave
And we were fair.
It happened with marvelous ease
Like writing with jasmine water,
Like a spring flowing from the ground."
5 STARS! I love his poems. Both English and Arabic version. Not just love them, I'm in love. I was/still am struggling with the arab part but I've learned that they didn't lose meaning when translated in English. Though in Arabic it's more intense, but because it's hard the English is really helpful and both made perfect. I love how one page has the Arabic text (written with pen, by himself!!!!) and next to it is the translation. The (sad) story about his life is very inspiring and is in a way c ...more
Ryan Greer
Part of my love and appreciation for Nizar Qabbani comes from what I've heard about him as a person. The way his sister's suicide deeply affected him, and led him to become an advocate for women's rights in the Middle East. His poetry remains timeless, even as it continues to be deeply personal.

I love this kind of poetry for my own reasons, and writing them down feels cheap, so I'll just share a few of my favorites from Qabbani.

Be assured, my lady,
I did not come to curse you
To hang you on the ro
Dina Abdalla
"why do you telephone, my lady?
why do you attack me in such a civilized way?
If the time for compassion is over,
And the time of jasmine is over,
then why do you use your voice to
to assassinate me again?
I am a dead man
The dead don't die twice
Your voice has nails,
And my flesh is embroidered with stabs
Like a bloody sheet."
Jan 28, 2008 Theodora marked it as to-read
"Like the old teeth on a comb,
I soaked my old self
In the water of my sadness,
And drank it."

Kabbani and I were born on the same day in different years.
وطعنت آلافا من المرات
حتى صار يوجعني بان لا اطعنا

And I was stabbed thousands of times,
Until it felt painful not to be stabbed
The most beautiful love poems I've ever read, some with a hint of politics.
Mugren Ohaly
The English translation is abysmal. It ignores repetition of words, it merges several lines into one, and at times words are left out.

Luckily, the original Arabic versions are presented alongside the English, allowing me to fully appreciate these poems.
Rebecca Johnson
Qabbani loved women, stood up for their rights and admired them deeply. I truely enjoyed the book; I do feel, at times, that some of the verses were probably more playful and romantic in their original language. Thought the verses are beautiful, language is very specific and I am sure that something was lost in translation. Though the translations are mesmerizing at times....other times, it seems like lame pick up lines "if you ask me when I was born, I will tell you that it was when you declare ...more
Aini Akmalia
No doubt. This masterpiece of Nizar Qabbani is really 'sweet'. Romantic air fills this book. I love how Qabbani using nature in most of his poetry. This Syrian poet was a poet of great simplicity, yet direct and spontaneous.

Although there's controversy due to some erotic language used in his poetry, yet I found something different behind those erotic things. It's more about protecting women, instead of insulting women. And I think it's just his way to deliver his messages.
Suzanne Ondrus
Really interesting how he uses weapons and madness to discuss love.
I wish i had had the opportunity to meet this Legend person !!
Jamie is
Read my roommate's copy in Jordan when we were there on Fulbright. My favorite poem, which I cannot find now online, started with "A7maq ana!" ("I'm so stupid!") and was a beautiful portrait of someone who traveled quite a bit, but no matter how many airports they visited, they should have realized that their love was there all along, as though their spirit was packed in their suitcase. It touched a deeply personal chord at the time.
Ainun Nazrin
There's a typo on page 147. :(
I was fortunate to be able to find this bilingual edition in my library –even though alas I cannot understand the original.
Anyway the English translation is beautiful, and there’s a fascinating introduction presenting this famous Syrian poet, one of the most revered contemporary poets in the Arab world, and his ideas.

see my review:
Tiffany Shaw-diaz
His love for women and their rights is evident, but the amount of angry, break-up poems was surprising. Hell hath no fury like a poet scorned, eh?
The wild fish have eaten enough of my bones, a phrase that my family still likes--also take your braids from around my neck!
Aug 07, 2013 Dana rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
Im inlove with Qabbani, i cant believe a man could be so loving and passionate, its so rare nowadays. ...more
Liberty Moonbeam
I wish I had had an opportunity to meet Nizar Qabbani. He moved me beyond words.
It's a good thing I'm a sucker for beautiful poetic words written by dead guys.
Intense, powerful, passionate.
Oct 26, 2008 Melinda marked it as to-read
un-defined talent that shapes the Arab man more towards civility.
Sam Rafiq
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Oct 05, 2015
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Oct 03, 2015
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Oct 02, 2015
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Qabbani was revered by generations of Arabs for his sensual and romantic verse. His work was featured not only in his two dozen volumes of poetry and in regular contributions to the Arabic-language newspaper Al Hayat, but in lyrics sung by Lebanese and Syrian vocalists who helped popularize his work.

Through a lifetime of writing, Qabbani made women his main theme and inspiration. He earned a reput
More about Nizar Qabbani...
در بندر آبی چشمانت... گزینۀ شعرهای عاشقانه On Entering the Sea: The Erotic and Other Poetry of Nizar Qabbani باران یعنی تو برمی گردی قصيدة بلقيس Republic of Love

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“keep silent . .
the most beautiful voice ,
is the talk of your hand
on the table.

قليل من الصمت . . ياجاهلة
فأجمل من كل هذا الحديث
حديث يديك
على الطاولة”
More quotes…