by  and translated by Amani Elmawed  /  January 13, 2014  / No comments

Hamdy El-Gazzar presents ten quatrains for Love.

The Book of the Four Lines

The Book of the Four Lines, Hamdy El-Gazzar's newest work. Photo: Courtesy of Hamdy El-Gazzar.

These quatrains are from my new book called The Book of the Four Lines. Let’s start our new year with peace and love for all the people in the world.

Love has no purpose
Love is the purpose
Love happens with no purpose
It sits on the throne like a god and a goddess.

I say to her: “I’m tired of yearning.”
I tell her: “Don’t you feel the same?”
I whisper with love cheerfully
And soothe myself of skepticism.

Being away from me is bitter
And being away from you is bitter
Why ignoring feelings
And love still exists?

  1. Off-Screen
  2. “From Egypt” attempts to draw a cultural map of Egypt and the Arab world by profiling the artistic, literary, and political issues that affect the region via on-the-ground coverage of current events, publications, and the fight for freedom of expression.
  3. Hamdy el Gazzar
  4. Hamdy El-Gazzar is an Egyptian writer and one of the 39 young Arab writers included in the Beirut 39 Project. His first novel, Sihr Aswad (Dar Merit, 2005) won the prestigious Sawaris Award, and was subsequently translated by Humphrey Davies (Black Magic, AUC Press, 2007). His second novel, Ladhdhat Sirriyya (Secret Pleasures) was published by Dar al-Dar in 2008. He is currently working on a third novel.

In my way I saw ugliness
And I saw every good
I got hatred and grudge
As much as I drank love.

My back to the wall and the temple
The crying of the universe is exhausting me
When will she come?
Where are the reunion and the love?

And if she leaves, she tests the love inside you
He sat at her door under the sun and the rain
In bitter cold, in darkness and despair
She didn’t open the door or answer to cut your rope.

Masculine and feminine are merely traits
And the trait could only be described
When I looked to my beloved
It showed that it’s not a trait, nor could it be described.

Fill the inkwell with ink
And the cup with water
And the mouth with a mouth
And don’t ask much.

In the morning, the reunion was nostalgia
At night, love was so strong
And it didn’t sleep, nor I
Glorious was the place to make words cherished.

Night and day became equal
So were love and hatred
Wealth and poverty
And his majesty has become the master of all.

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