Biography of Abdellatif Laâbi
Abdellatif Laâbi is a Moroccan poet, born in 1942 in Fes, Morocco.
Laâbi, then teaching French, founded with other poets the artistic journal Souffles, an important literary review in 1966. It was considered as a meeting point of some poets who felt the emergency of a poetic stand and revival, but which, very quickly, crystallized all Moroccan creative energies: painters, film-makers, men of theatre, researchers and thinkers. It was banned in 1972, but throughout its short life, it opened up to cultures from other countries of the Maghreb and those of the Third World.
Abdellatif Laâbi was imprisoned, tortured and sentenced to ten years in prison for "crimes of opinion" (for his political beliefs and his writings) and served a sentence from 1972-1980. He was, in 1985, forced into exile in France.
"Everything which the Arab reality offers that is generous, open and creative is crushed by regimes whose only anxiety is to perpetuate their own power and self-serving interest. And what is often worse is to see that the West remains insensitive to the daily tragedy while at the same time accommodating, not to say supporting, the ruling classes who strangle the free will and aspirations of their people.
Abdellatif Laâbi Poems
The Earth Opens And Welcomes You
The earth opens and welcomes you
If we could write simply by placing
Dish Of The Day
For today's special we'd like to recommend a very spicy
Knowledge Is Unforgiving
Knowledge is unforgiving It gnaws at you
I hear the wolves nice and snug in their country homes
The Word Gulag
They've opened a new gulag. The word gulag. I go there every week, taking with me a shopping bag containing some
The Poem Tree
I am the poem tree. Scientists say I belong to an endangered species, but nobody seems to care, despite the recent appeals
One Hand Isn'T Enough To Write With
One hand isn't enough to write with These days
My Mother's Language
It's been twenty years since I last saw my mother She starved herself to death
In Vain I Migrate
I migrate in vain In every city I drink the same coffee
I'M A Child Of This Century
I'm a child of this dreary century a child who never grew up
Burn The Midnight Oil
You must stay up all night at least four times a year. There aren't enough crazy people around me to go further than that.
In Vain I Migrate
I migrate in vain
In every city I drink the same coffee
and resign myself to the waiter's impassive face
The laughter of nearby tables
disturbs the evening's music
A woman walks by for the last time
In vain I migrate
ensuring my own alienation
I find the same crescent moon in every sky