Saadi Yousef (Arabic: سعدي يوسف) (born 1934 near Basra, Iraq) is an Iraqi author, poet, journalist, publisher, and political activist. He has published thirty volumes of poetry and seven books of prose.
Saadi Yousef studied Arabic literature in Baghdad. He was influenced by the free verse of Badr Shakir al-Sayyab, Shathel Taqa and Abd al-Wahhab Al-Bayyati and was also involved in politics from an early age, leaving the country permanently in 1979 after Saddam Hussein's rise to power. At the time his work was heavily influenced by his socialist and anti-imperialist sympathies but has since also taken a more introspective, lyrical turn. He has also translated many well-known ... more »
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Saadi Youssef Poems
Thank You Imru Ul-Qais
At last in a half-furnished room near Nicosia you came to deliver peace on your lips. Is it only now, after five thousand miles, that you've found the words?
God save America My home sweet home! The French general who raised his tricolour over Nagrat al-Salman where I was a prisoner thirty years ago . . .
The Bird's Last Flight
When I enter the earth's nest Contented And glad, My wings resting,
His house was exposed to dust from the street. His garden, blooming with red carnations, was open to dogs and strange insects,
How will I drag my feet to her now? In which land will I see her and on which street of what city should I ask about her?
Winds that do not blow in the evening, and winds that do not blow at dawn have burdened me with a book of boughs. I see my cry in the silence.
We stopped in five stations and did not leave a souvenir. We did not shiver there, or get drunk, or strum a guitar. Five rivers of sand on the guitar. Five crosses made of silence:
The New Baghdad
She comes to me with a bowl of soup when I am besieged by fumes of cheap arak.
The Mediterranean Café
It is not far than a night oblivious look From the opening of " Umm Khaled " meadow. You see it, at night, drenched in its blood. Beit Leed Cabaret was your hidden bar of sand and turtle shield,
The girl who works in the warehouse leaves her second-floor room. She switches on the staircase light, her face agitated in the glow,
Hold me, comfort me The stones are nothing but pain tonight Hold me to your breast so that I ramble:
That was not a country. But it had all it needed To imprint its image on us, We the children of impossible clay.
This Iraq will reach the ends of the graveyard. It will bury its sons in open country generation after generation, and it will forgive its despot . . . .
Dream 1 On nights of torment and sorrow its waters saturate the pillow and it comes like the smell of moss
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
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(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
Thank You Imru Ul-Qais
At last in a half-furnished room near Nicosia
you came to deliver peace on your lips.
Is it only now, after five thousand miles,
that you've found the words?
After moss filled your home
and the arrows were scattered in the sea.
Peace to a grove of figs.
Peace to this darkness.
Peace to a shell that hid its blood in wet sleep.
Peace to this ruin.
Like a spring between slim hands
slowly slipping off my covers
the way a farmer peels an apricot's soft stubble,
are you shining like silver while the world is lead?
All that surrounds me are shores.