History of dispute, invitation to sorrow

“Some of us nibble on bread,
While the others go window-shopping.
We often wander around aimlessly,
Chattering to color the hours.
We may cry,
But when we cross the street quickly
Our bodies form a taut rope,
Like one tied between two trees
To keep the family’s laundry off the ground…”

That was part of a poem entitled Ann Eshreen Esbaan wa Damatain (‘About twenty Fingers and two tears’) from a collection of poems by Mahmoud Kheir Allah. The collection was published recently by Sefsafa under the title Kul Ma Sanaa al-Haddad (‘A history of dispute’).

The publisher describes the collection:

“With this collection of poems, Mahmoud Kheir Allah fights a fierce battle where he wins victory for poetry at the expense of ideology. He puts forward his ideas without surrendering to them. He most often raises questions and only sometimes offers answers. Even his answers aren’t conclusive; for they lead to more questions. This is the kind of poetry that doesn’t sanctify its poet nor present itself as an alternative. It is just an invitation to share in the sorrow.”

Book: Kul Ma Sanaa al-Haddad (‘A History of Dispute’)
Author: Mahmoud Khier Allah
Publisher: Sefsafa, Cairo, 2010
74 small-size pages

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