Nizar Qabbani was a Syrian contemporary poet, famous for the elegance and simplicity in his verses, and his focus on love, eroticism, feminism, oppression and religion.
He is known as one of the most feminist and progressive intellectuals of his time. When Qabbani was 15, his sister, who was 25 at the time, committed suicide because she refused to marry a man she did not love. That sad event had a huge influence on him and his writing.
Damascus was his biggest muse. In his will, which he wrote in his hospital bed in London, Qabbani wrote that he wished to be buried in Damascus, which he described as “the womb that taught me poetry, taught me creativity and granted me the alphabet of Jasmine.” How sad would he be if he saw his Damascus now…
He wrote a lot of books of poetry, and the one that first got me to him was 100 Love Letters (مئة رسالة حب). I managed to find the pieces of it in photos, around various tumblr sites. I didn’t manage to track down the source, so I can’t give you a link for more.
In a way, that mystery fits here perfectly – it is a story about Qabanni, after all. There is something so subtle and beautiful about his work, and that even makes it stronger than the obviously loud screams some poets produce.
As he wrote in one of his love songs:
keep silent . .
the most beautiful voice ,
is the talk of your hand
on the table.
Continue reading and enjoy…