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Famous Arabic Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Arabic poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous arabic poems. These examples illustrate what a famous arabic poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Tebb, Barry
...ubbs began - poet, teacher, wit, raconteur and man

Of letters - littering his poems with references

To three kinds of Arabic genie

The class system of ancient Egypt

The pub architecture of the Edwardian era.

From the back row I strained to see his face.

The craggy jaw, the mane of long white hair.

The bowl of daffodils I’d focused on before.

He spoke but could not read and

Like me had no single poem by heart.

In his stead a man and woman read:
...Read more of this...

by Douglas, Keith
is something in accordance with mundane conventions-
Marcelle drops her Gallic airs and tragedy
suddenly shrieks in Arabic about the fare
with the cabman, links herself so
with the somnambulists and legless beggars:
it is all one, all as you have heard.

But by a day's travelling you reach a new world
the vegetation is of iron
dead tanks, gun barrels split like celery
the metal brambles have no flowers or berries
and there are all sorts of manure, you can imagine
the ...Read more of this...

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...MY faint spirit was sitting in the light 
 Of thy looks, my love; 
 It panted for thee like the hind at noon 
 For the brooks, my love. 
Thy barb, whose hoofs outspeed the tempest's flight, 
 Bore thee far from me; 
 My heart, for my weak feet were weary soon, 
 Did companion thee. 

Ah! fleeter far than fleetest storm or steed, 
 Or the death they...Read more of this...

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...MY faint spirit was sitting in the light 
Of thy looks my love; 
It panted for thee like the hind at noon 
For the brooks my love. 
Thy barb whose hoofs outspeed the tempest's flight 5 
Bore thee far from me; 
My heart for my weak feet were weary soon  
Did companion thee. 

Ah! fleeter far than fleetest storm or steed  
Or the death they ...Read more of this...

by Bly, Robert
...These insects golden
And Arabic sailing in the husks of galleons 
Their octagonal heads also
Hold sand paintings of the next life....Read more of this...

by Seeger, Alan

And when my ring was smooth and bright, 
Holding it on a rounded stick, 
For seal, I bade a Turco write 
Maktoob in Arabic. 

Maktoob! "'Tis written!" . . . So they think, 
These children of the desert, who 
From its immense expanses drink 
Some of its grandeur too. 

Within the book of Destiny, 
Whose leaves are time, whose cover, space, 
The day when you shall cease to be, 
The hour, the mode, the place, 

Are marked, they say; and you shall not 
By ...Read more of this...

by Amichai, Yehuda
...pwindow is decorated with
dresses of beautiful women, in blue and white.
And everything in three languages:
Hebrew, Arabic, and Death.

A great and royal animal is dying
all through the night under the jasmine
tree with a constant stare at the world.

A man whose son died in the war walks in the street
like a woman with a dead embryo in her womb.
"Behind all this some great happiness is hiding."...Read more of this...

by Hugo, Victor
 Than hear the sickly honeyed tone 
 And see the swimming eyes of Noormahal the Fair! 
 {Footnote 1: Noormahal (Arabic) the light of the house; some of the 
 Orientals deem fair hair and complexion a beauty.} 


...Read more of this...

by Amichai, Yehuda
...Hebrew writing and Arabic writing go from east to west,
Latin writing, from west to east.
Languages are like cats:
You must not stroke their hair the wrong way.
The clouds come from the sea, the hot wind from the desert,
The trees bend in the wind,
And stones fly from all four winds,
Into all four winds. They throw stones,
Throw this land, one at the other,
But the...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...e of my birth, and cried, 'The friends of my youth, where are they?' and an Echo answered, 'Where are they?'" — From an Arabic MS. 

The above quotation (from which the idea in the text is taken) must be already familiar to every reader — it is given in the first annotation, p. 67, of "The Pleasures of Memory;" a poem so well known as to render a reference almost superfluous; but to whose pages all will be delighted to recur. 

(43) "And airy tongues that syllable...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
of a marginal reading on a manuscript.
(Transcriber's note: later commentators explain it as derived
from Arabic "al-ta'thir", influence - used here in an astrological

7. "Thou knittest thee where thou art not receiv'd,
 Where thou wert well, from thennes art thou weiv'd"
"Thou joinest thyself where thou art rejected, and art declined
or departed from the place where thou wert well." The moon
portends the fortunes of Constance.

...Read more of this...

by Levine, Philip
my brothers and I tried conversation, questions
only he could answer: Why had he gone to war?
Where did he learn Arabic? Where was his father?
I remember none of this. I read it all later,
years later as an old man, a grandfather myself,
in a journal he left my mother with little drawings
of ruined barns and telephone poles, receding
toward a future he never lived, aphorisms
from Montaigne, Juvenal, Voltaire, and perhaps a few
of his own: "He who looks for answers ...Read more of this...

by Byron, George (Lord)
...d and Evil — but 'twould take up hours. 


And this is not a theologic tract, 
To prove with Hebrew and with Arabic, 
If Job be allegory or a fact, 
But a true narrative; and thus I pick 
From out the whole but such and such an act 
As sets aside the slightest thought of trick. 
'Tis every tittle true, beyond suspicion, 
And accurate as any other vision. 


The spirits were in neutral space, before 
The gates of heaven; like eastern thresholds is 
The...Read more of this...

by Plath, Sylvia
...latten. Their visible hieroglyphs
Flatten to parchment screens to keep the wind off.
They paint such secrets in Arabic, Chinese!

I am dumb and brown. I am a seed about to break.
The brownness is my dead self, and it is sullen:
It does not wish to be more, or different.
Dusk hoods me in blue now, like a Mary.
O color of distance and forgetfulness!--
When will it be, the second when Time breaks
And eternity engulfs it, and I drown utterly?

I talk to my...Read more of this...

by Darwish, Mahmoud
And as my name I shall choose azure letters... 

You who stand in the doorway, come in, 
Drink Arabic coffee with us 
And you will sense that you are men like us 
You who stand in the doorways of houses 
Come out of our morningtimes, 
We shall feel reassured to be 
Men like you! 

When the planes disappear, the white, white doves 
Fly off and wash the cheeks of heaven 
With unbound wings taking radiance back again, taking possession 
Of the ether...Read more of this...

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