poems / Hassan Mutlak

4 poems by

Hassan Mutlak

Translated from Arabic by Safaa Sheikh Hamad


The poet is someone who writes a poem only to misplace it later.

"Hegel" is a great man
For he lost the philosophy
"Gaston Bachelard" did not find

Because he looked at the ceiling upside down
And thought of thinking,
Because the irony was still standing

They all died ...

Only those sophists men
Lost knowledge
By never speaking of it

They are great
For they admitted earlier
The sound of the sparrow
Is louder than Aristotle


The names of the night

I think I love you

* * *

The sky is high
And barking ascends from all around

Croaking in the ponds
And when the wolves howl
That is the time for insects to wake up

Evil is an idea
Love is the bread instinct
And one has only to cry between the two pillars

Freedom has a black taste, like trees
And the female is a release from slavery and the devil

Oh, positive cold
Which one of us knows the other's cure?
And who glorifies his companion in the prayers?

The moon has fallen down in the swamp
Where the anthem of frogs started

We both fell in the bed
Glorifying each other's wounds


The lightening
And the harping are of the names of the night


Countryside song

Grasshoppers landed on fire
Then the bags, calculators, women, the sheep and the axe
The scythe was there too ;
Hamdan is a thorn before T. V.

The wrinkles and the slopes are there

It happens that we get divided by "hello" .
We cross hearts to come back to us
Whenever the streets get us lost

The woman is a thorn
The bed is the bones of dead animals
The grasshoppers are precious
Like coffee

The sheep is ------?
* * *

Hamdan is amongst us
Farms land on his shoulders
So, he dreams of the Amazon

He is these faraway farms
And the eggs of partridges .



My daughter:

From the faraway exile
I write the smashed poem
For you, the lady of the beautiful shores

Winds and soldiers surround old Babylon

Ever since I was exiled,
I lived in a state of missing you

And to hug your mother "Aphrodite"

The little ones all went away
All went away

Hassan Mutlak (1961-1990) an Iraqi writer, painter and poet. He was born in Isdeera village at the north of Iraq .He holds a B.A. in education and psychology from the University of Mosul. He made many painting exibitions and was awarded many prizes in short story. He issued with a group of friends, (THE EDUCATOR) magazine. He worked as a teacher at the Teachers Institute in Kirkuk, and a principal for many high schools. His novel "Dabada", the peak of his literary works, was published in 1988.
Mutlak was hanged at the 18th. of July, 1990 for participating in a military coup against the dictator of Iraq. This had many intellectuals to call him "the Lorca of Iraq". His other literary works include "the Power of Laughter in Ura", "the Fictional Works", "the Book of Love: their shadows on earth" and "Masks: me, you and the homeland".

picture of Hassan Mutlak

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