Khaled Mattawa

(1964 / Libya)

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Khaled Mattawa (born 1964) is a Libyan poet, and a renowned Arab-American writer, he is also a leading literary translator, focusing on translating Arabic poetry into English. He works as an Assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, where he currently lives and writes. more »

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Best Poem of Khaled Mattawa

East of Carthage: An Idyll

Look here, Marcus Aurelius, we've come to see
your temple, deluded the guards, crawled through a hole
in the fence. Why your descendent, my guide and friend

has opted for secrecy, I don't know. But I do know
what to call the Africans, passport-less, yellow-eyed
who will ride the boat before me for Naples, they hope.

Here the sea curls its granite lip at them and flings a winter
storm like a cough, or the seadog drops them at Hannibal's
shores, where they'll stand stupefied like his elephants.

What dimension of time will they cross at the Hours ...

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