Sunday, 17 June 2012

Zeinab Laouedj - Algerian poet


Algerian poet Zeinab Laouedj was born in 1954, in Maghnia (Tlemcen).  She writes in Arabic and is translated in French (all be it seldom). I have not found her translated in English.

The latest French translation of her work I've found is in this collection of texts by Algerian writers and poets called Paroles d'Algériens : Ecrire pour résister dans l'Algerie du XXè Siècle (2003).


In the above collection, you can find her poem 'Le Palmier' [The Palm Tree] dedicated to Abdelkader Alloua, the Algerian playwright assassinated on 10 March 1994, and to the poet Youcef Sebti assassinated on 27 December 1993:


"Mon pays
My country
Je suis un Lion
I am a Lion
Et je vous ferai trembler
And I will make you tremble
Jusque dans vos forêts
As far as your forests
Moi le Fou
Me, the Crazed
Fou par amour de sa patrie
Mad for the love of his land
Où nul fou
Where no other madman
Ne me ressemble
Resembles me


Ma
My
Stature
Stature
Est grande
Stands tall
Votre
Your
Tombe
Grave
Ne peut
Cannot
La contenir ...
Contain it…


La terre tourne
The earth revolves
Même allongé
Even when lain


Je
I
Suis

Dressé
Rise
Tel
Like
Un
A
Palmier
Palmtree
Dans
In
L'humus
The soil
De la terre."
Of the earth.
Zineb Laouedj 


(Eng. trans. by Nadia Ghanem)


Zeinab Laouedj is married to Algerian novelist Waciny Laredj.  If you are in Algiers, you can find her poetry collections in the Librairie du Tiers-Monde (at the very bottom of the "Algerian Lit in Arabic" section, at the very back of the "poetry in Algerian" section , above the dust). 

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