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When my friend Clemencia and I visited the ARK Gallery in South Ealing about two months ago, my friend Yousif Naser showed me this poem written by his friend Saadi Youssef. I was fascinated by the look of it and read it out loud, not knowing the effect it had on me. I wonder what would happen if a man had read it out loud.
Reading this poem caused the same kind of reaction, an eruption of tears, when I read a poem almost 10 years ago "A False Step" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Can anyone find that poem and e-mail me please?

Bon Journal

Woman - a poem

Written by the famous Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef, this poem ignited a torrent of emotions in me. The following version is translated from Arabic.


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?

And if I find her house

(let's suppose I do)

will I ring the bell?

How should I answer back?

And how will I stare at her face

as I touch the light wine

seeping between her fingers.

How should I say hello...

and how will I take the pain of all these years?




twenty years ago

in an air-conditioned train

I kissed her all night through...


------ by Saadi Youssef, 8 Sept 1984

27 August 2003 Wednesday

analyticalQ poetry collection
If thou must love me, let it be for nought ..... by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Woman by Saadi Youssef laid out by Yousif Naser
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Anne Ku
writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.