Featured Writer Maram al-Masri: One Poem


Boxes … boxes
Are lightly lifted up
As if they are made from air
They turn around and around
They dance with it
They sing sad songs heard loudly in the sky
Breaking the heart of the mountains

They turn and turn
As if they have wings
They fly as if they are dancing
From shoulder to shoulder flying higher and higher
And they drop down

Naked wooden boxes
Abstinent as the death of the poor
It has silenced cries
Eyes dropped down dreams
Smiles have not seen the light yet
With wet faces
With a kiss of a grieved mother.

Coffins … coffins
To the luxury wedding of freedom


-Maram al-Masri

translated into English by the poet and Theo Dorgan


صناديق صناديق
ترفع بخفة
وكأنها مصنوعة من هواء
تدور تدور
يرقصون بها
مواويل تصدح في السماء
تفطر الجبال لوعة

تدور تدور
وكأن لها اجنحة
تطير وكأنها ترقص
من كتف لكتف تعلو تعلو

صناديق خشبية عارية
متقشفة كموت الفقراء
بها صرخات كتمت
احلام مسجلة العينين
ابتسامات لن ترى النور بعد
بها وجوه مبللة
بقبلة أم مفجوعة

توابيت توابيت
لعرس الحرية الباذخ


مرام المصري


Maram al-Masri’s poem was originally published in Arabic and French in Elle va nue, la liberté by Éditions Bruno Doucey in 2013. It has been republished in Rochford Street Review in Arabic and English with the author’s permission.



Maram al-Masri photo by Philippe Barnoud

Maram al-Masri. photograph by Philippe Barnoud

Maram al-Masri (مرام المصري) was born in Syria and now lives in Paris. She is a writer and translator, and is regarded as one of the major female voices of her generation. She has been awarded numerous prizes, and is the author of five books, the most recent of which is Elle va nue, la liberté (Éditions Bruno Doucey, 2013). In Elle va nue, la liberté, she directly addresses the war in Syria; focussing on the women and children, the suffering of the helpless, and through it all, the deep desire for freedom.


Maram al-Masri’s blog:  http://maramalmassri.blogspot.com.au/

Elle va nue, la liberté is available from Amazon


This entry was posted in Featured Writers, Issue 24, Maram al-Masri and tagged , , , , , , , by Zalehah Turner. Bookmark the permalink.

About Zalehah Turner

Zalehah Turner is a Sydney based poet, photographer, cultural journalist, and Associate Editor of Rochford Street Review (RSR). Zalehah regularly contributes articles and interviews on poetry, art, film, and new media for RSR and the UTS magazine, Vertigo. Zalehah’s poetry was projected onto the Federation Square Wall in Melbourne as part of the Overload Poetry Festivals, 2008 and 2009; exhibited at Mark and Remark ,107 Projects, Redfern in 2013; and displayed in Alice Springs and Moruya thanks to Australian Poetry Café poets, Laurie May and Janette Dadd respectively. Her poems have been published in Writing Laboratory (2013), Sotto (2013), Social Alternatives (2016), Vertigo (2016, 2017), UTS’s The Empathy Poems Project (2017) and Rochford Street Review (2017). She co-judged the New Shoots Poetry Prizes 2016 alongside, Tamryn Bennett, Artistic Director of The Red Room Company, and published the winning and highly commended poems. Zalehah is currently working on an intermedia poetry collection entitled, 'Critical condition', focused on the interstitial threshold between life and death in medical crises based on personal experience. Zalehah holds a BA in Communication with a major in writing and cultural studies from the University of Technology, Sydney where she continues to pursue pushing the boundaries of multimedia poetry in Honours (Communication- Creative Writing).