Poetry Friday: I Have No Address – Hamza El Din

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Poetry Friday is hosted by Jone at Check It Out! 

Last Poetry Friday, Myra (who has a gift for searching out and sharing the most unusual, thoughtful books in her blog Gathering Books) shared an anthology and a poem I immediately fell in love with: “From The Diary of an Almost Four-Year Old” in The Space Between Our Footsteps:

space between our footsteps

Through the magic of the internet, I was able to find a copy of my own and thus enjoy poem after poem which transported me to the Middle East and the entirely unique voices of its many gifted poets. An added treat is the fabulous artwork which graces each poem beautifully. Naomi Shihab Nye, who selected the poems for The Space Between Our Footsteps, writes that she intended the collection to “be like the mezza tables of hors d’oeuvre spread out all across the Middle East, which often precede a greater feast…our book has tried to represent the wide, delicious feast.”

Here is one such poem, by the Egyptian composer, oud player, and vocalist, Hamza El Din:

hamza_el-din01

I Have No Address
I am a sparrow with a white heart and a thousand tongues.
I fly around the globe
Singing for Peace, love and humanity
In every place,
I have no address.

My address is lines ornamented by dreams, beating hearts
united by smiling hope
For people who wish good for other people all the time.
I sing. smile and cry.
My tears wash away pain
In every place.

Our paths are boats of longing, turning round and round
with us —
One day to the east, another to the west, to tranquil
moorings.
And when the waves go against us and cast us away,
Then the echo of my sounds at midnight will be a dock
at the shore of tranquility,
In every place.

The day we join hands with others hands, our universe is
A rose garden blooming in the holy night.
It contains us, with hope, love and alleluia’s.
And I am the sparrow on the branch.
I sleep, dream and fly happily
In every place.
I have no address.

And here it is, in its lyrical form, with Hamza El Din playing the oud:

Thank you, Myra!

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14 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: I Have No Address – Hamza El Din

  1. Oh, this is beautiful dearest Tara. And I am so happy that you were able to find a copy of Naomi Shihab Nye’s book. It is a treasure. I didn’t have a chance to read everything yet, and missed out on this gorgeous poem you shared here. It soothes the soul, and so does the melody. Thank you, dearest Tara. Looking forward to finally meeting in November! 🙂

  2. You’re my first PF, Tara, & what a beautiful one. I love the 2nd stanza: “My address is lines ornamented by dreams…” I have another book of hers that is good, too: The Flags of Childhood: Poems From The Middle East. The plight of so many there is so troubling. Thanks for sharing this connection today, and thanks to Myra too!

  3. What a nice chain of events — you reading a poem on Myra’s blog, and seeking out the book, and sharing another poem here with us. It’s nice to see the PF boats, turning around. The musical version is lovely.

  4. Pingback: Poetry Friday: Let’s Celebrate! | Check It Out

  5. Love the PF community! And I love these lines:
    “Then the echo of my sounds at midnight will be a dock
    at the shore of tranquility,
    In every place.”
    Thanks so much for sharing, Tara! = )

  6. If only we could spread world peace through poetry and song, there would be no troubles. I love this line, “The day we join hands with others hands, our universe is
    A rose garden blooming in the holy night.” Yes! A strong and beautiful message.
    How are you going to use this poem with your students?

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