In the Country of the Dead

So many people die each day
that our hearts refuse to register grief”

All these dead

Who among us will question them
Will it still require a massacre
and tears
for the road beneath the earth to be traced for us
Unless this wind that rips into us
has made us lose our reason
to the point that we don’t care about the meeting

All these dead

What names should be called in the circle
hands extended for a prayer of parting
but reluctantly
We don’t wail the way we used to
So many people die each day
that our hearts refuse to register grief

All these dead

whom we never see
Was it part of their destiny to die

All these dead

who slowly slip out of our lives
What have we offered them in all this time
if not words too unraveled to give birth to one poem

………………..
(Habib Tengour)


Habib Tengour is one of the foremost contemporary Maghrebian poets. He was born in Mostaganem in 1947. Poet, writer and anthropologist, he has constantly lived between France and Algeria.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: