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About this poet

Born in 1935, in Sour El Gozlane, Algeria, Djamal Amrani's books include Soleil de notre nuit (Editions Subervie, 1964), L'été de ta peau  (Société Nationale d'Edition et de diffusion, 1981), and La nuit du dedans (Marsa Editions, 2002). Central to his life and work is the involvement in the Algerian liberation movement, and his arrest and torture by the French army for participating in a 1956 student strike. In 2004, he received the Pablo Neruda medal for his body of work published between 1964 and 2003. He died in Algiers, Algeria, in 2005. 

from "The Night Side"

Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker

X
Who will tell the sun about my land
my harried medlar tree
my springtime without nervures 
my helpful hand
Who will recount my rootless
garden 
and my door open
to all comers
my night of faraway sounds

my wheat that absorbs
the hours 

Who will cure me
of my sequestration 
and sweet secret
—my monochrome dream

my space gone gray at the temples 
the barter of my frenzy

the slumber at the edge
of my well of fever 

My steppe with an abundance of laughter 
Perhaps it would be enough . . .
But I watch
time passing 

Originally published in the January 2019 issue of Words Without Borders. © Djamal Amrani. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2019 by Marilyn Hacker. All rights reserved.

Originally published in the January 2019 issue of Words Without Borders. © Djamal Amrani. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2019 by Marilyn Hacker. All rights reserved.

Djamal Amrani

Djamal Amrani

Born in 1935, in Sour El-Gozhlane, Algeria, Djamal Amrani's books include Soleil de notre nuit (Editions Subervie, 1964), L'été de ta peau  (Société Nationale d'Edition et de diffusion, 1981), and La nuit du dedans (Marsa Editions, 2002).

by this poet

poem
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
 
Pour Ali la Pointe

Here where each day calls out to our suffering

Here where each step chains our desire for hope

Here where everything cries out misfortune violence famine

Here where blood is