Muhammad Afifi Matar
Muhammad Afifi Matar (1935 – 28 June 2010) was an Egyptian poet. He was born in the village of Ramalat al-Anjab in the Menoufia region of the Nile Delta. He went to school in Menouf and afterwards moved to Cairo where he studied philosophy at Ain Shams University.
During the reign of Anwar Sadat, Matar left Egypt for Iraq and lived there for several years due to his difficulties with the military regime. During this period of self-imposed exile, he kept up his work as a poet and edited a literary journal called al-Aqlam. He was also a member of the Egyptian Ba'ath Party and was one of six people arrested in April 1991 on accusations of involvement in an anti-government plot.
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This sun wears a live chemise of blood.
A wound gapes from its kneecap, wide as the wind
And horizons gush blood-springs revealing birds and palmtrees.
Peace, it stays until nightfall . . . Peace
The river women rise:
Anklets of grass twist circlets of
Silver and silt, desire wet with the water's foam;
The river women call to the birds,
With shawls wipe the glass horizon.
They weep, they shed newly warmed sorrow.
Peace, it stays until nightfall . . . Peace.
The fields folded their knees.
The ploughsocks softened, relaxed.
The serpents slept.
A pall of ...