Thorns of life

A second collection of 17 poems by Egyptian colloquial poet Abdel Rahim Youssef has been published under the title Qetta wa Qeddissa wa Genneyya (A Cat, a Saint, and a Fairy, Sefsafa 2010).

The blurb on the back of the book reads: “There is an interplay between Abdel Rahim Youssef and life, and specifically the thorns that life throws our way. Youssef seems to be speaking from a far-off place with ‘amusement’ as his objective….the poet is extremely bold and employs varying degrees of satire that sometimes elicit not only the smiles of his readers but also their laughter; all while maintaining a delicate tone. The use of satire is bold since it is a double-edged weapon, the sharper edge of which is pointed at the reader. Indeed, there are few satirical works that manage to keep their delicacy of tone unblemished. This compilation of poems comes out top among those few works.”

Here’s an excerpt from a poem titled Shagan Mostamer (Continuous Sorrow):

Continuous sorrow,
Never-ending nostalgia transforms the Minatel Phone booths
Into open orphanages for lonely hearts.
Telephone handsets become a house that promised warmth to the cold body.
Frightening nostalgia that forces a man to forget about winter,
Whose rain has drenched his clothes,
And disregard the cars that splash him with water,
And fail to notice that his tone of voice has lost its old vigor,
Instead caught up in a state of monotony and boredom.

Book: Qetta wa Qeddissa wa Genneyya

Poet: Abdel Rahim Youssef

Publisher: Sefsafa, 2010

77 small-sized pages

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