My Heart

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 1,025th birthday.

Ibn Hazm
Arab Andalusian
994 – 1064

 

I would split open my heart
with a knife, place you
within and seal my would,
that you might dwell there
and never inhabit another
until the resurrection and
judgment day — thus you
would stay in my heart
while I lived, and at my death
you too would die in the
entrails of my core, in
the shadow of my tomb.

Always, I Open My Heart

In honor of Green March Day, we present this work by one of today’s most famous Moroccan poets.

Abdallah Zrika
Moroccan
b. 1953

 

I speak, first, from my fingernails, taken from the ocean’s sand, then from the algae of my hair in indigent atmospheres, then from my eyes, from the aluminum

of the sky
And I invite you all now
And my hand is firewood
I was born in an age of revolution
poor, poor, poor
up to the ankles of my feet
I was born barefoot
and sick
and hungry
and angry
until the ocean’s foam was in my mouth
and in my mouth was iron and rock
and words in mourning
and hungry children
and small dogs killed by the cold and rain
and fear
and people with torn clothes, bare feet
and in my hand, teeth of crystal
and anger
and the crying of children
and the ill
and blame
and here I am, angry
activated
I blame the murdered
and I open my heart
I blame those who deserve blame
For the wound in us is deep
the betrayal deep
the murdered among us are hurting.

November, 1806

William Wordsworth
English
1770 – 1850

 

Another year!—another deadly blow!
Another mighty Empire overthrown!
And We are left, or shall be left, alone;
The last that dare to struggle with the Foe.
‘Tis well! from this day forward we shall know
That in ourselves our safety must be sought;
That by our own right hands it must be wrought;
That we must stand unpropped, or be laid low.
O dastard whom such foretaste doth not cheer!
We shall exult, if they who rule the land
Be men who hold its many blessings dear,
Wise, upright, valiant; not a servile band,
Who are to judge of danger which they fear,
And honour which they do not understand.

Monument

We present this work in honor of the Russian holiday, National Unity Day.

Garvriil Derzhavin
Russian
1743 – 1816

 

I built myself a monument, eternal and miraculous,
It’s higher than the Pyramids, than metal it is harder;
Swift winds and thunder cannot knock it down
The flight of time cannot demolish it.

Thus I won’t really die! The part of me that’s largest
Will baffle death, and will escape decay,
My fame will grow, and never wither,
As long as Slavs are honored in this world.

And word of me shall spread from the White Sea to the Black,
Where Volga, Don, Neva and Ural rivers flow,
Each member of the countless tribes will know
How from obscurity I found my way to fame,

By daring first in lively Russian speech
To celebrate the virtues of Felitsa,
To talk of God with intimate simplicity,
And with a smile announce the truth to kings.

O Muse! take pride in your well-earned rewards,
Disdain all those who show disdain for you,
And with an easy and unhurried hand,
With dawn eternal crown your brow.