Poem by Sukaina Habiballah: ‘Everything in You Grew, But Not Your Hand’
Translated by Robin Moger.
Over at Youssef Rakha’s Cosmopolitan Hotel, there are six poems in Robin Moger’s translation, by Moroccan writer Sukaina Habiballah, who is a writer hardly ever whispered about in English:
Author of both poetry and prose, Habiballah was a recipient of Arab Fund for Arts an Culture and al-Mawred al-Thaqafy grants, as well as winner of several awards for poets, including the Buland al-Haidari prize for young poets. Among her poetry collections are A Quarter Century of Sight (2014) and There’s No Need for You (2015).
One of the poems, tr. Robin Moger:
Everything in you grew, but not your hand.
Whenever they pushed your way a finger,
A dry stick or a blade,
As a babe’s,
Your rude fist wrapped it round
More of Habiballah’s work in Arabic, including a chapter from her 2016 novel House of Straw, can be found at el-Mawja. As Moger points out below, Kareem James Abu-Zeid also translated one of Habiballah’s poems for WWB: “Anatomy of the Rose.“