Two Poems by Ines Al Abbasi (Translated by Ali Znaidi)

Picture of Ines Al Abbasi borrowed off

Picture of Ines Al Abbasi borrowed off

Two Poems by Ines Al Abbasi (Translated by Ali Znaidi)

These are the original poems in Arabic. They are taken from the online magazine “Taking Shape” appeared on December 14, 2008 and “A Bastard” appeared on December 3, 2008. You can also read them here and here.

قصيدتان لإيناس العباسي ~ المصدر: مجلة ألف الإلكترونية


الزمن : دوائر تتداخل
دائرة واحدة
نقطة ارتكازها
بشعاع الأكاذيب الممتدّ
قطرا من الأخطاء
….هناك في علم الرياضيات
مايسمّى بالـ”جِوار”
منطقة بين – بين
لا نحن فيها …و لا خارجها
أحيانا نلتقي فيها
أو على حدود الدائرة
ننتمي لكلّ الاحتمالات

في اللقاء:
تدور الدائرة بشدّة
مجرّد نقطة
في الفراغ



الطفل الذي…
يعبر الليل وحيدا
الذي نهارا
يتأرجح بين
ذراعيّ شجرة
و يغفو بين أهداب
أمّه الشمس
صوت البحر
المختنق في
حنايا صَدفة
سرقها من طفل آخر
الطفل الذي…
يلعب مع الساحرات
في الرواق الطويل
لبيته الكبير
بيت الآخرين أيضا
أين اللغة عرجاء
تفتقد إلى كلمات كثيرة
الطفل الذي
قبل أن ينام في
حلم طفل آخر
كلّ ليلة
ما معنى كلمة :

Here you are the translation for both poems!

Taking Shape

Time: Circles intertwine

to form

one circle:

Its fulcrum is

your betrayal.

The rays of lies stretch

like a diameter of blunders.

In mathematics

there is something called ‘adjacency’—

a no man’s land zone:

We are not inside it, nor outside of it.

We sometimes meet in it

or at the edge of the circle/the memory.

Thus, we belong to all possibilities.

When meeting,

the circle vehemently revolves

to return into

a mere dot

in the void


A Bastard

A bastard;

the child who…

crosses the night alone,

who at the daytime

oscillates between

the arms of a tree

and naps between the eyelashes

of his mother/the sun,


the voice of the sea

that is stifled betwixt

the ribs of a seashell

that he stole from another child

– like him. –

The child who…

plays with the witches

in the long corridor

of his big house:

The house of others, too

where language is lame

and lacking many words…

The child who,

before sleeping in

another child’s dream,


every night

about the meaning of the word ‘bastard.’

Ines Al Abbasi’s Bio:

Ines Al Abbasi is a Tunisian poet and fiction writer. She was born in 1981. She is a journalist by profession. She authored poetry collections, including Secrets of the Wind (2004) and Archive of Blind (2007) and a narrative travel book titled Scheherazade’s Korean Tales based on her residency experiences in Seoul.


About aliznaidi

Ali Znaidi lives in Redeyef, Tunisia. He graduated with a BA in Anglo-American Studies in 2002. He teaches English at Tunisian public secondary schools. He writes poetry and has an interest in literature, languages, and literary translations. His work has appeared here and there and is scheduled to appear elsewhere . At moments of revelation, he smokes and drinks green tea with mint while pondering.
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5 Responses to Two Poems by Ines Al Abbasi (Translated by Ali Znaidi)

  1. Pingback: New Year, New Poetry | Arabic Literature (in English)

  2. Lindy Lee says:

    Thoughtful poems about betrayals & bastards…

  3. Ines Abassi says:

    Thank you Dr Ali.

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