Poetry is the journey of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away. Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance - Carl Sandburg..........Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one's soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject - John Keats .........Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge - William Wordsworth ..........Poets utter great and wise things which they do not themselves understand - Plato .........No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher. For poetry is the blossom and the fragrance of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language - Samuel Taylor Coleridge .........One demands two things of a poem. Firstly, it must be a well-made verbal object that does honor to the language in which it is written. Secondly, it must say something significant about a reality common to us all, but perceived from a unique perspective. What the poet says has never been said before, but, once he has said it, his readers recognize its validity for themselves - W. H. Auden ...........Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash - Leonard Cohen .........There is a pleasure in poetic pains which only poets know - William Cowper .........Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood -T. S. Eliot ..........Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason - Novalis...........He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life - George Sand .........A poem is never finished, only abandoned - Paul Valery ........A poet is a bird of unearthly excellence, who escapes from his celestial realm arrives in this world warbling. If we do not cherish him, he spreads his wings and flies back into his homeland - Kahlil Gibran.............Poetry should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance - John Keats..........To be a poet is a condition, not a profession - Robert Frost........A poem is true if it hangs together. Information points to something else. A poem points to nothing but itself - E. M. Forster.........Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo - Don Marquis...........Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things - T. S. Eliot ..........You can tear a poem apart to see what makes it tick. You're back with the mystery of having been moved by words. The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash or thunder in - Dylan Thomas .........Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words - Paul Engle......... There is not a joy the world can give like that it takes away! Lord Byron

Poetry in English    Poetry in Translation Culture News About Us Write to Us

Book Reviews


صلاح عليوة - مصرSayed Gouda’s Serina:  The Split Self in a Tumultuous Postmodern World

Writes Salah Elewa

The world we live in is a tough place, and life becomes even tougher when the individuals find themselves face to face with threatening demons and dangers in both their inner and their outer worlds. But there is always hope in the ability of human soul to conjure up the required courage, patience and resilience, and strive to overcome all obstacles and dangers. This is what we witness when we read Sayed Gouda’s latest novel Serina.

The novel narrates the story of a reporter from Hong Kong who aspires to cover the events of Egyptian sit-ons that took place in Cairo around the middle of 2013, an episode in the Arabic spring which culminated in Egypt in February 2011, and is somehow echoed in Hong Kong through a series of protests that overtook Hong Kong towards the end of 2014, attracting the attention of the world for almost three months.

Read the full review


Culture News


Whisper for Rain!

Editor’s Foreword 

This new issue of Nadwah features sixteen established and published poets  that represent a wide varieties of cultures. We are happy to have in this new issue Native American, African, Pakistani,  Mongolian, Greek and Italian poems translated in Nadwah for the first time. As we did in the previous issue, we have translated some master poets as well: Rilke, Nabokov and al-Malaeka.

This issue welcomes new editors who joined our editorial board: Marjan Strojan for the Slovenian section, Sarah Thilykou for the Greek section and Luca Bennassi for the Italian section. We still welcome more editors and translators of different languages to join our editorial team.

We are starting a new trend that we shall keep in the coming issues, which is to translate each and every poem into both English and Arabic. Therefore, all poems not written originally in either Arabic or English, will be published in three languages: in its original language, as well as in Arabic and English translations. We insist on having the poem in its original language so that it can be a reference for translation teachers and students.


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You Are My Garb

Editor’s Foreword 

The current issue of Nadwah features poets from Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Russia, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Macedonia, India, Slovenia, Australia, Canada, the UK, Germany and the USA. This issue, not only features contemporary poets, but some modern poets too such as Nagi, Rasafi and Qabbani.


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Ending 2018: More World Poetry

Editor’s Foreword 

This second issue of Nadwah features a number of new poets not featured in the first issue. While Nadwah focuses predominantly on poetry written and translated into English and Arabic, this issue gives voice to poets from different parts of the world who write in languages other than English and Arabic, such as  Chinese, German and Russian.


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Nadwah Poets - Special Issue

Editor’s Foreword

The idea of launching this magazine has been on my mind for many years and I have always procrastinated carrying it out for one reason or another. Maybe one of the reasons is knowing how immense this project might be and how much effort and time it will take. In the end, I knew I had to start somewhere.


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Poetry in English

Poetry in Translation

Simon j. Ortiz - America

In this hemisphere, corn is ancient and young: it is the seed, food, and symbol of a constantly developing and revolutionary people.


Don’t fret now.


Songs are useless

to exculpate sorrow.

That’s not their intent anyway.

More on page 15 (Issue 4)

Autumn Day 

Rainer Maria Rilke - Austria

Translated from German by Birgit Bunzel


Lord: it is time. This summer was immense.

Unfold your shadow across the solar clocks,

and across the meadows, unleash the winds.


Command the last of fruits to fill to shine,

give them another two more southernly days.

Compel them toward completion and then chase

the final sweetness into heavy wine.  

More on page 5 (Issue 4)

It’s near time to leave for the unknown

JumokeVerissimo - Nigeria 

(For a friend living with cancer)


It’s time to leave for the unknown

Time when past years skid in my head

Time to shed the burden of despair

From a mind where tears peak gut


Ignorance is no virtue for one dying

I choose contentment in knowing nothing

Gathering strength thinking and disregarding

Doubts in your eyes: my death foretold

More on page 25 (Issue 4)

In Paradise

Vladimir Nabokov - Russia

Translated from Russian by Vladimir Nabokov


My soul, beyond distant death

your image I see like this:

a provincial naturalist,

an eccentric lost in paradise.


There, in a glade, a wild angel slumbers,

a semi-pavonian creature.

Poke at it curiously

with your green umbrella,

More on pages 6-7 (Issue 4)

To the Widow

Adjei Agyei-Baah - Ghana


You are the sleepless duck

Who rests on a single leg

Keeps vigil over a silent compound

And waits upon the ancestral spirits

To come for the last morsel of the day


You are the abandoned lover

Who plies the memory lane in acidic tears

Walking the footpath that closes in with weeds

And mull over multiple mouths meowing to be muted

More on pages 28-29  (Issue 4)

An Autumn Night On the River

Liu Dabai – China

Translated from Chinese by Sayed Gouda


The birds that return to their nests,

though exhausted,

always return toward the setting sun.

Their wings flap,

and drop the setting sun into the river;

the white-headed reed1

turns into crimson red, too.2


1 A reed in the Chinese culture is a symbol used for girls.

2 The red colour is a metaphor for a bashful girl.


Dear Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Osita Igbo - Nigeria


We should all be feminists?  No! It is rusty; and rust cannot be a bluing for the gecko’s skin. You claim to stuff rare sutures in fissure of the sun. You are the warmth of moon at night feast, trumpeting crystals of talons. 

More on pages 30-31 (Issue 4)



Merkabah: The Wind Over the Mountains

Sheikha A. - Pakistan


after Tafiyar Qaguwa: A Crab’s Journey in Search of God by Umar Saleh Gwani (Stunned Collection) 


Wastage teaches us scraps are meaningful; 

we wipe plates with pieces of bread before setting  

them in a sink. Running with wolves could mean 

the same as salvaging grace. Our lessons become

More on page 32 (Issue 4)

Mail Kiss

Liu Dabai – China

Translated from Chinese by Sayed Gouda


Not that I cannot tear it with my fingers,

not that I cannot cut it with scissors,

but slowly,


and carefully I open the the lips of that purple


I know that inside the letter’s lips

hides her secret kiss.

More on pages 8-9 (Issue 4)


Nazik Al-Malaeka – Iraq

Translated from Arabic by Sayed Gouda


Blow out the candle and leave us here, strangers.

We are two parts of the night. What is the meaning of the light?

Light falls on two mirages in the evening’s eyelid.

Light falls on some flinders of hope.

They are called ‘us’ and I call them

‘boredom’. Here, we’re like light:


More on pages 10-11 (Issue 4)


Akinsola Jeje - Canada


Darkness has fallen, an angry orange gleam, a slashing sash of fire, smouldering at the fringes of the heavy onyx curtains that blank the horizon. Some welcome the shade, scorning the scorch of desert storms, fever pitches, Montezuma’s revenge, or simply light upon the bulbous blister of brown oxide scales spreading on iron frames.

More on pages 26-27 (Issue 3)

No Touch

Marjan Strojan - Slovania

Translated from Slovanian by the author


I’m fed up with farewells. All those little

deaths time and time again: when you try

to touch them, they recoil like a small animal

that does not know you.


Elder in a Garden

Marjan Strojan - Slovania

Translated from Slovanian by the author


Truly, my heart stops whenever I see the garden again

and the elder flowering into the timeless night,

and the path which I knew runs across

the common but did not know

where it ends.

Beside the path grew coltsfoot, nettles, and cherries

washed by dew or by rain. If I looked I might

 More on pages 12-13 (Issue 4)

Rumi, or,

My Heart is a Vagabond

Birgit Bunzel - Germany


Rumi is the master of love.

He sent me to you.

He said, “Here is your journey.”

And I lost myself on the way.

More on pages 30-31 (Issue 3)

Twin Stars

Pauline Burton


After they split apart

One single orbit

Moved in a clear path outward

Ripping a bleeding furrow in between

Their fractured galaxies: narrow with light’s

Intensity, before the instant

Darkness pours in.

More on pages 32 (Issue 3)


Evening Sun

Milovan Stefanovski - Republic of North Macedonia

Translated from Macedonian by the author

Do not look

at the evening sun

with its final beam

it can close your eyes

it can blind you

on its way down it can take you


 More on page 14 (Issue 4)

Smashing up the Grand Piano

Martin Alexander - UK


In Grandma’s house when we arrived on leave

the grand piano yawned and woke from two years’ sleep

and bared its gleaming teeth – black-gapped and white –

sprawled out, a friendly beast across the sunny parlour floor.

 More on page 16:18 (Issue 2)

Ten Haikus

Kika Hotta - Japan

Translated from Japanese by the author


The desert is pregnant

her dunes

softly curved



I lie on sand

feeling its warmth –

the Earth rotates

 More on pages 16-17 (Issue 4)

Portrait of a Nymph, Transformed

Viki - Holmes - Wales


I never asked for this,

in all my begging for protection.

To be rooted, the age of my

slim self marking my skin

in concentric circles, not

the ripples of a stone

cast on a pond’s unwinking surface

but embedded, each year a growing fatness –

 More on page 21 (Issue 2)


Sarah Thilykou - Greece

Translated from Greek by YiorgosChouliaras



Open the window


It's the island



No man is an island,

they say, but

 More on pages 18:20 (Issue 4)

 Mani Rao - India


Let us move from lonely to alone

Walk into crowded spaces and be

one of them - any them –


Go back to the same place until they expect our face

Salesgirls, bartenders, bank-tellers

All the public people

Counters that tick for anyone – everyone –

More on page 22-23 (Issue 2)

I am  Coming to You

Mend-Oyoo Gombojav - Mongolia

Translated  from Mongolian by  N. Enhkbayar


Traveling through time, in company with the sun, the moon,

Along the bumpy and winding roads left by old wise men,

Climbing up and down the high mountains and the hills,

Fording hundreds of rivers,

Although I do not know when we may meet,

 More on pages 21:23 (Issue 4)

At the Intersection 5pm

--Wanchai, Hong Kong

Kate Rogers - Canada


I pause as the pile driver

pounds bedrock 80 beats

per minute. The Adagio

metronome of the Walking Man

ticks. At the intersection

 a blue open-backed delivery

More on page 24-25 (Issue 2)


Luca Benassi - Italy

Translated from Italian by the author


Salmon are to be waylaid

at the bottleneck of the river mouth,

when they are scared, cramming the water;

you have to let the net down where

the surface ripples with fins,

gills fumbling the desire

 More on page 24 (Issue 4)

Publications by Nadwah

Outside the Walls

Catherine Peteinari - Greece

Translated from Greek by YiorgosChouliaras


Propylaea – the definition of beauty

the appearance of the barrier inside and outside me


I create –

I resist against something

the air that envelopes my guts

retrieving memories and names

outside the limits of the wall

 More on pages 26-27 (Issue 4)

A Gazal

Rajesh Vyas – 'Miskeen'

Translated from Gujarati by Dileep Jhaveri


If you have just nothing, forsake it, and come over

If you have everything, renounce it and reveal


Where the rooms are illuminated by your name

I am that house, even if you do not come

More on pages 16-17 (Issue 3)

Closed Gate Closed Gate

Dream of Memory

Alexey Filimonov - Russia

Translated from Russian by Molly Zuckerman and Madeline Tingle


At times nature smells of blood,

of dew and of this War’s death,

and dreams of unsolved pain   

grow through trees,

 More on page 14 (Issue 2)

Send in your submission, whether your translation of classical or modern poems, or you own writing to the magazine e-mail to be considered for publication. Please read the publication guidelines first before submission.


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