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Francophone Poetry from Algeria

January 2019

In this collection, originally featured in the January 2019 issue of Words Without Borders, we present Francophone poetry from Algeria, introduced and translated by Marilyn Hacker.

“I Write in French to Tell the French I Am Not French”: Algerian Francophone Poetry
By Marilyn Hacker
Algerian Francophone poetry was largely outside, and in contrast to, the post-World War II movement in French poetry of disengagement from political causes.
From “The Night Inside”
By Djamal Amrani
The slumber at the edge/ of my well of fever
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
Multilingual
Beneath a Pile of Rubble
By Djamal Amrani
Because death is stronger than hunger
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
Multilingual
Minus One
By Samira Negrouche
I would like/ in a faraway language/ to tell you what I don’t/ understand
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
MultimediaMultilingual
In the Shadow of Grenada
By Samira Negrouche
She tells me not to be/ a holy land/ or a mine of tenderness
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
MultimediaMultilingual
Celebration of the Absent One
By Habib Tengour
The father’s house is a living language/ Open to guests passing through
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
MultimediaMultilingual
The Tartar from the Kremlin
By Habib Tengour
This particular Tartar is unbeatable at cards/ Except for whist (not a game for Tartars)
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
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