Muzaffar al-Nawwab

(1934 / Baghdad)

Muzaffar al-Nawwab
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[Muzaffar al-Nawwab (b. Baghdad, 1934) is one of Iraq’s most famous and influential poets. He studied literature in Baghdad and worked as a teacher. He joined the Iraqi Communist Party at a very early age and was imprisoned and tortured under the Ba’th. He left Iraq in 1970 and lived in exile until 2011 when he returned to Baghdad for a visit. Al-Nawwab is well known in Iraq and throughout the Arab world, especially among leftists and activist of various generations, for his powerful revolutionary poems and scathing invectives against Arab regimes and dictators. Banned in most Arab countries, his poems circulated widely from the 1970s onward on cassettes. They are widely available nowadays ... more »

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Best Poem of Muzaffar al-Nawwab


I am not shy when I speak out frankly of your reality
That a yard of hogs is much cleaner than all of you
May the bench of washing the dead move,
But you are immovable
Now I expose/undress you
In all the capitals of this Arab World
You have killed my gaiety
In every alley I see al-Azlam (the idols) Amami (before me)
Till I became avoiding even the phone
Even the walls and even the children
Vomiting for this crude method

Let us sit before the feet of the Arabian Desert
To let her pass a judgment on us
I admit before the Desert
That I am a banal, ...

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