Three poems of Tunisian poet Moëz Majed

27 September 2019
Author :  

 Moëz Majed

Tunisian poet born in 1973 in a family of poets and diplomats. His father was an important classic poet in the early post-colonial period.

He studied life sciences in the tunisian university and in the « Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle » in Paris.

 

He has been director of the arab-speaking litterature magazine « Reehab Al-Maarifa » (between 2009 and 2011) and the french-speaking magazine « Opinions » (from 2011 to 2013).

 

Despaite he is perfectly arabophone, he writes his poetry in french and considers that it is « an arab poetry written in french language ».

 

He has been published in Tunisia, France and Jordan and his poetry is translated and published in many languages, mainly arabic, english and spanish.

 

Moëz Majed is also the Founder and Director of the International Poetry Festival of Sidi Bou Said (Tunisia)

 

He has 6 poetry volumes :

 

-L’ombre… la lumière (Arabesques, Tunis 1997)

-Les rêveries d’un cerisier en fleurs (Contraste édition, Sousse 2008)

-L’ambition d’un verger (L’Harmattan, Paris 2010)

-Gisants (Fata Morgana, Saint Clément 2012)

-Chants de l’autre rive (Fata Morgana, Saint Clément 2014)

-Non loin de là (arabic translation) (Al Ahlia, Amman 2019)

 

1.

O stormy one,

Dark, untamable !

Here they are, on your scent, an entire people of lovers .

 

Quest after greatness that gauges an eternity

Present at the solstice of its own age, dressed for ceremony.

 

Ah ! Eternity…

A dream of sailors embattled by fear.

 

Who, therefore, will dare forgetfulness ?

 

Who, therefore, could give me the grace

To drink the silence of an eternity in alabaster ?

 

Because you,

Tall, slim and pale as a queen of elves,

Hard as diamond,

You make them live and die in thirst.

 

I hear your steps approach behind my neck

And I smile…

 

2.

O death that was my own silence, torn by offence !

Rage of first loves, nourished by an autumn rain.

Night.

Long and dark night, before lightning strikes.

And there it is , warm, slithering …

Moving like trembling flesh.

 

Tribe gathered by thirst.

Tribe scattered by rain.

 

Ah! Great planes of Zama.

 

 

3.

Hour blest amongst hours, when the rumble of the high sea

cedes its kingdom to silence,

when the child, half-hearted, gives in to the thread of sleep

and we hear nothing but a lonely cicada,

and the doubtful creak of a louver, half-closed.

 

In the bowl of white marble, water

retrieves its quiet

and nothing else frightens the creatures in the depths.

 

The hour of all solitudes!

 

Those conquered in great struggle, amid the unexpected greenery

in a country of thirst.

Those hidden, like an unlikely gem

inside the gash, still raw,

of flesh immemorial.

And those we’d thought lost forever

and found again

right in the midst of a thundering crowd.

 

O great solitudes of these times!

O solitudes of another race!

 

A shriek — that’s what it was.

A lone, unique shriek

out of the heart of an ageless olive tree,

carrying in its wake, unheard-of,

a finite order of things.

 

Yes, great was the error

and immense shall be the retribution.

 

For how long, this outrage?

How many more times shall we die?

 

 

Translation from the French by Dr. Norbert Bugeja

 

 

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