Thursday, 12 July 2012

Djamal Amrani - Algerian Poet




"Ombre Absurde in Days colour of the sun (Jours coleur de soleil)

OMBRE ABSURDE
acharnée à ma masturbation
ma mort
mon suicide détramé.
Débris de moi
Débris de rien
Debout sur mon cadavre
JE VOUS SALUE
fascinantes morgues
de mon delirium
QU'ON M'EMPILE
après tout qu'on change les DRAPS.
QU'IL NE DEMEURE
en moi
que la trace
de ton
CORPS."


***

Algerian poet Djamal Amrani was born in 1935, in Sour-El-Ghozlane, and passed away in 2005.  He wrote in French and published 16 poetry collections, one novel and one theatre play.  He participated in the struggle against France during the war of independence, and in the Battle of Algiers in 1957 - he was caught and tortured for a month. He was then released and sent in exile in Paris.  When independence was won, the Algerian government mandated him to be Algeria's ambassador in Cuba.  His first book The Witness was published in 1960.  In 2004, he was awarded the Pablo Neruda medal for his poetry.


Kheireddine Ameyar said that Amrani did not write poetry, he "heard it". Novelist, poet and journalist Tahar Djaout said that Amrani's poetry was a "meeting between the possibilities of language and the contorsions of a body refusing to submit".  Djaout is also reputed to have said that "out of all the poets of the revolution, Djamal Amrani is the one who fulfilled his promises the most. He not only succeeded in establishing continuity for his poetry when so many others came to a halt, but he also, just as the other great poets such as Mohamed Dib and Jean Sénac, explored new territories".

His poetry titles are: 



The Sun of our night (Soleil de notre nuit, Éditions Subervie, Rodez 1964. Préface de Henri Kréa. Encres de Aksouh. Poésies suivies de nouvelles).  

Song for the 1st of November (Chant pour le 1er Novembre, ABM, Paris 1964 (Édition de luxe à tirage limité). Eaux fortes de A. Benanteur.)

The Witness (Le témoin, roman, SNED, Alger, 1960.)

Bivouac of certainties (Bivouac des certitudes, SNED, Alger, 1969.)

As far as my eyes can carry me... (Aussi loin que mes regards se portent... - Éditions SNED, Alger 1972.)

Days colour of the sun (Jours couleur de soleil, poèmes, SNED, Alger, 1979.)

Between tooth and memory (Entre la dent et la mémoire, SNED, Alger, 1981.)

Summer of your skin (L'été de ta peau, poèmes, SNED, 1982.)

The highest source (La plus haute source, poèmes, ENAL, Alger, 1983.)

Clay of Embolism (Argile d'embolie, poèmes, Laphomique, Alger, 1985.)

In the light of your body (Au jour de ton corps, poèmes, ENAL, Alger, 1985.)

Demining memory, poetry (Déminer la mémoire, poèmes, ENAL, Alger, 1986.)

Upstream (Vers l'amont, poèmes, Alger-ENAL, 1989.)

The Night inside (La nuit du dedans, Paris, Marsa.)


His theatre play was published in 1973 : There is no such a thing as chance (Il n'y a pas de hasard - Éditions SNED, Alger.)

His short stories collection was published in 1978 : The last sunset (Le Dernier crépuscule - SNED, Alger.)


Amrani's poetry has not been translated into English unfortunately. Very few of his poems are to be found on the net, I have only been able to find three.

Here are a few poems, I will carry on adding some (my favourite though!):

"Oubli plus qu'affirmation in Demining Memory (Déminer la Memoire)

Oubli plus qu'affirmation
Coeur plus que veine
Chair plus qu'ombre
Enigme plus que mystère
Eté plus que guerre."


"Non.... in Days colour of the sun (Jours coleur de soleil)


Non
je ne suis pas de ceux
qui meurent avec les loups
Saison rêvée du bonheur
et de la grande crue
derrière tes volets
clos
je te guette
je te fixe
je te coule
mon souvenir diapré
mon arc-en-ciel si bref
je te rive à ras-bord."



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