Joumana Haddad

Joumana Haddad Poems

No one can guess
what I say when I am silent,
who I see when I close my eyes,


When I sit before you, stranger,
I know how much time you'll need
to bury the distance between us.

I don't remember
that I undressed in daylight
for a man

When your eyes meet with my solitude
Silence becomes fruit
And sleep turns into storm.

I will be strewn on your bed
like fingerprints of fire.
I will be implanted in your night

Joumana Haddad Biography

Joumana Haddad was born in Lebanon in 1970. She is a poet, translator, journalist and teacher. She has worked at the Lebanese newspaper An Nahar since 1997. She speaks seven languages, including Spanish, and is preparing a doctorate thesis on the subject of poetic translation. Publications: The time of a dream, 1995; Invitation to a secret dinner, 1998; Abyss, 2000; I haven't sinned enough, anthology, 2004; The return of Lilith, 2004. She has published a number of works translated from Italian, French and Spanish, and has translated a number of Arab poets into French, Italian and Spanish. She is preparing an anthology of modern Lebanese poetry in Spanish. Her poems have been translated into Spanish, French, Italian, Polish and English, and have been published in literary magazines such as Alhucema (Spain), Fornix (Peru), Hojas Sueltas (Colombia), Kalimat (Australia), Europe (France), Supérieur inconnu (France), as well as in two anthologies put together by Abdel Kader Janabi on modern Arab poetry and published in Paris: Le poème arabe moderne (the modern Arab poem) and Le verbe dévoilé (The uncovered word). She has interviewed recognized international authors, including José Saramago, Paul Auster, Umberto Eco, Yves Bonnefoy, Peter Handke, Wole Soyinka and Antonio Tabucchi.)

The Best Poem Of Joumana Haddad

I Am A Woman

No one can guess
what I say when I am silent,
who I see when I close my eyes,
how I am carried away when I am carried away,
what I search for when I reach out my hands.

Nobody, nobody knows
when I am hungry, when I take a journey,
when I walk and when I am lost.
And nobody knows
that my going is a return
and my return is an abstention,
that my weakness is a mask
and my strength is a mask,
and that what is coming is a tempest.

They think they know
so I let them,
and I happen.

They put me in a cage so that
my freedom may be a gift from them,
and I'd have to thank them and obey.
But I am free before them, after them,
with them, without them.
I am free in my oppression, in my defeat
and my prison is what I want.
The key to the prison may be their tongue.
But their tongue is twisted around my desire's fingers,
and my desire they can never command.

I am a woman.
They think they own my freedom.
So I let them,
and I happen.

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