#Zeina Hashem Beck
lifeinpoetry · a day ago
You kept putting on rage & weight. Perhaps you wanted to be _. Your father, who has a piece of bread & a spoon of honey for breakfast, shook his head & told you the Prophet says _, says we are a people who
don’t eat to be full. We eat so we do not go hungry. Less, my daughter, less.
_ give me, father, for I am ravenous & _, I _ this world so much I want to __ it.
— Zeina Hashem Beck, from "Say it," O
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mae-we-post-poems · 3 months ago
“Be kind to her. She’s eleven & already
wants to turn you back. She wished this
after she squeezed a drop from her index
& read me the number. She always insists
I close my eyes & guess
what her blood is saying—
sometimes I’m wrong & sometimes not.
I kiss the tiny tears on her fingertips.
I kiss her arms & thighs before the insulin.
When I ask her to inject herself, I’m asking her to live
without me, & she knows it. When her legs trembled,
& I soothed with “I’m here, I’m here,”
she reminded me: “But you can’t do anything.”
Perhaps she meant “undo.”
Who am I kidding. Time, I demanded your undoing too,
that first night in the hospital before dawn,
when I woke up having forgotten, then remembered
where I was, what had happened.
The neon corridor light, the nurses’ chatter,
the potassium’s slow burn in my daughter’s vein.
Time, I know
I can’t reason with you. You go on and on.
Instead, I’m wishing her
astonishing slowness, softness
inside the arduous & unfair. Like this:
the dog’s limp, the cold coffee, the struggling
baby bougainvillea, the winged ant on the floor,
the half-eaten sandwich, the tenderness
of the 5am light, the daily departures,
the basil plant’s shadow on the wall,
& her hair, the swing of my love’s hair
as she runs, shaking her head
left & right, left & right,
how she always ran like this, always ran
as if swaying, No, No.”
-Zeina Hashem Beck
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noleavestoblow · 3 months ago
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-Zeina Hashem Beck (from poem "Time,")
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arablit · 12 months ago
New Poetry: Samar Abdel Jaber’s ‘Four Years Without You’
New Poetry: Samar Abdel Jaber’s ‘Four Years Without You’
Poet Zeina Hashem Beck wrote yesterday, on Twitter: “For #MahmoudDarwish ‘s death anniversary, I translated this moving poem by the lovely Samar, in convo with Darwish. May longing always surprise us. Written in 2012.” She also shares the translation here. Four Years Without You For Mahmoud Darwish By Samar Abdel Jaber Translated by Zeina Hashem Beck Perhaps you’re there now You watch…
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bostonpoetryslam · a year ago
In order for me to write poetry that isn't political I must listen to the birds & in order to hear the birds the airplane must be silent
Marwan Makhoul, trans. Zeina Hashem Beck, via Gaza Poets Society
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poetrypository · a year ago
Layla, Zeina Hashem Beck
I am tired of the love poems Qays keeps tracing for me in the sand. What a luxury, to roam mad with love, be punished only with a tender name – Majnun. The world will always forgive the foolishness of men. I’m the one who endures the weight of another in the night. I remind myself to cup my breasts and say they are mine. My thighs mine, mine. Sometimes I tell him No, not tonight, I’m bleeding again, and he believes me. It’s easy to believe anything about a body that splits itself open and survives, produces milk the next day. If I keep still long enough, I hear the music inside my veins; it sounds like women, singing.
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poems-by-women · a year ago
Ghazal: Back Home
by Zeina Hashem Beck
For Syria, September 2015
Tonight a little boy couldn’t walk on water or row back home. The sea turned its old face away. Again, there was a no, no, back home.
Bahr* is how we were taught to measure poetry, bahr is how we’ve stopped trying to measure sorrow, back home.
“All that blue is the sea, and it gives life, gives life,” says God to the boy standing wet at heaven’s gate—does he want to return, to go back home?
My friend who hates cooking has made that eggplant dish, says nothing was better than yogurt and garlic and tomato, back home.
On the train tracks, a man shouts, “Hold me, hold me,” to his wife, bites her sleeve, as if he were trying to tow back home.
Thirteen-year-old Kinan with the big eyes says, “We don’t want to stay in Europe.” “Just stop the war,” he repeats, as if praying, Grow, grow back, home.
Habibi, I never thought our children would write HELP US on cardboard. Let’s try to remember how we met years ago, back home.
On our honeymoon we kissed by the sea, watched it rock the lights, the fishing boats to and fro, back home.
*Bahr is Arabic for sea. Also, in Arabic, bahr means meter.
Zeina Hashem Beck: “This ghazal is for Syrian refugees, whose stories this week (and every week) are heartbreaking and surreal. The poem refers to many tragedies that we’ve read about this week: the little toddler drowned in the Aegean sea, the refugees at the train station in Budapest, that video of the Syrian boy simply saying “Just stop the war,” and the video of the man holding on to his wife and baby on the train tracks.” (website)
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lifeinpoetry · 2 days ago
Sometimes I ask myself whether I __ him now that he’s dead, but fuck that. (In the book of days, does comes before dies.) Even the fearsome black lion in my dream was delicious silk. Look how fierce I’ve become.
— Zeina Hashem Beck, from "Say it," O
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silencehymnal · 2 years ago
When I interviewed God, I said I moved the plants toward the light,
forgot the water. Is love a lack, always imbued with prayer?
—Zeina Hashem Beck, Ghazal: With Prayer
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ranaaqrawi · 2 years ago
Broken Ghazal: Speak Arabic (Poetry Post #5)
For this poetry post, I decided to choose the opening poem of the book. This particular poem was really difficult to analyze for me because no matter how many times I’ve tried I still couldn’t find a different/deeper meaning for the poem other than the beauty of the Arabic Language. I think that this particular poem showcases Beck’s relationship with the Arabic language and how it inspired her to be the poet she is today. Beck opened up the poem by addressing the fact that, although she was born and raised in the Middle East she still prefers to write her poems in English. That seems to be completely fine until she incorporated the word “betrayal”. This makes me question if she feels as if she’s betraying her mother tongue by producing content in English, which is a language that doesn’t necessarily cater to the location of the majority of her audience. This makes me believe that she is insecure about that because possibly in the eyes of her readers she might seem to be just a poet, not a Lebanese/Arab poet. That particular description is erasing a part of who she is as a person because she is losing the Arab part of her identity in the eyes of the public. I think Beck is trying to relate to bilingual people and particularly the ones that speak Arabic and English. There's a lot of references to popular people/places that belong to the Arab and English world. Although, she tried to incorporate familiar things that the audience might remanence with since the poem was written as a note to self type of thing it made it harder for me to relate to some aspects of it.
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The heart– never learns keeps coming back to the same songs, the same wars.
Zeina Hashem Beck, Louder Than Hearts
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arablit · a year ago
Friday Finds: Must-watch Special Episode of 'Maqsouda' on Palestinian Poetry
Friday Finds: Must-watch Special Episode of ‘Maqsouda’ on Palestinian Poetry
Poets Zeina Hashem Beck and Farah Chamma, co-hosts of the podcast Maqsouda, share a one-time video special filmed by Hind Shoufani: In the introduction to the video special, Farah Chamma explains: “Zeina and I have gathered some poems by Palestinian poets we admire in order to empty our anger, to remember our beauty, and to remember the beauty of literature and resistance that is found in our…
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poetrypository · a year ago
Majnun, Zeina Hashem Beck
            (after Majnun Layla)
Love is not complicated. I die among the rocks, the beasts, shaded by your memory, Layla. Shaded by your memory, I roam this desert, tear at my clothes, ramble until I hear someone call, Layla. I hear someone call, Layla, and words beat their wounded wings out of my heart, my mouth. When travelers ask what I write in the sand, I tell them I live inside the letters of your name. Only inside the letters of your name—L-a-y-l-a— I wake. I am halved, like a line of poetry: here the silence, the sun scorches, my grave calls, offers no forgetting; here the night, named after you, cloaks me with hope to go near your tent again. To go near your tent again, to kneel facing you, not Mecca. My father took me to the Prophet’s grave, once, said, Perhaps you’ll find another song. I circled the Ka’aba, prayed, Layla, Layla. I don’t want to heal from worshipping you— let them call me majnun. Call me majnun, Layla. I freed gazelles from my trap because they reminded me of you. What food for those already dead of hunger? Tell me, did he kiss you in the morning? Let me, then, dive into the dark flame of this night, this layla.
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