Nizar Qabbani

(1923 - 1998 / Damascus / Syria)

Language - Poem by Nizar Qabbani

When a man is in love
how can he use old words?
Should a woman
desiring her lover
lie down with
grammarians and linguists?

I said nothing
to the woman I loved
but gathered
love's adjectives into a suitcase
and fled from all languages.

Comments about Language by Nizar Qabbani

  • (10/16/2017 11:58:00 AM)

    My translation in Hindi

    mohabbat main insan ko
    kya galli ki zuban bolni chaheeyay?
    kya mohabbat main doobi ek aurat ko
    vyakaran, bhasakaran waly logon ke sath sona chaheeyay?

    apni janay-jan ko main kuch nahin bola
    lakin uske sab gunwachak shabdon ko
    ek suitcase main ikhada kar liya
    aur sab zubano se bhag chala
    (Report) Reply

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  • Daniel Brick (12/15/2016 9:58:00 PM)

    We must pay attention when a great poet like Nazir Qabbani says he does not trust language to proper communicate
    what is deepest and truest, that is, love for a woman. The last lines are very clever and witty but what does he mean by suitcasing words and leaving language as if it were a town? I think he is saying the love experience is not a situation of words and empty promises but of acts convincing without further ado and this town he enters is one in which you don't say things or argue about them, you just are what you are. Being there in your integrity without
    any special pleading. When you're back in the world of ordinary men, you can reopen the suitcase and re-join the crowd.
    (Report) Reply

  • (7/29/2016 2:17:00 PM)

    A poet from my country from Syria many thanks for all the efforts that reflects the right side of Syria ,the Syrian love ,poetry and Syrian peace hopefully (Report) Reply

  • (7/29/2016 2:17:00 PM)

    a poet from my country from Syria many thanks for all the efforts that reflects the right side of Syria ,the Syrian love ,poetry and Syrian peace hopefully .. (Report) Reply

  • Gajanan Mishra (7/28/2016 3:49:00 AM)

    very fine, fled from all lamguages. (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (12/27/2015 12:48:00 PM)

    My Italian translation:


    Quando un uomo è innamorato
    come può usare vecchie parole?
    Dovrebbe forse, una donna
    che desideri il suo amante,
    giacere con
    grammatici e linguisti?

    Nulla dissi
    alla donna che amai
    ma, raccolti
    gli aggettivi dell'amore in una valigia,
    fuggii da tutte le lingue.
    (Report) Reply

  • (5/9/2009 2:56:00 PM)

    yes. beautiful. i agree with CK. thank you for posting this poem. (Report) Reply

  • (4/21/2007 9:50:00 PM)

    This is incredible. It should be a malefaction to do so much with so few words. (Report) Reply

  • (11/7/2005 2:09:00 AM)

    a linguist's tongue
    may be undone
    and the slightest stammer

    betrays it's smitten
    dons red mitten
    then smashes with a hammer
    (Report) Reply

Read all 9 comments »
# 484 poem on top 500 Poems

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Read poems about / on: woman, love, women

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

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