poem

“A Poet’s Hallucinations” - new video with English subtitles

A new video with Dareen Tatour reading her poem “A Poet’s Hallucinations” was published, with full translation to English by Jonathan Wright, as initially published in ArabLit. It came soon after the judge in the Israeli court in Nazareth refused Dareen’s appeal to abolish her house arrest.

Pen America shared the video with the lyrics, and also included Dareen Tatour in their campaign to support writers at risk.

If you know of more poetry by Dareen Tatour that was published online please send us a link.

See below links to more poems by Dareen Tatour in English and many other languages

A Poet Behind Bars

By Dareen Tatour

Translated by Tariq al Haydar

First published in the site “Arabic Literature (In English)


In prison, I met people

too numerous to count:

Killer and criminal,

thief and liar,

the honest and those who disbelieve,

the lost and confused,

the wretched and the hungry.

Then, the sick of my homeland,

born out of pain,

refused to go along with injustice

until they became children whose innocence was violated.

The world’s compulsion left them stunned.

They grew older.

No, their sadness grew,

strengthening with repression,

like roses in salted soil.

They embraced love without fear,

and were condemned for declaring,

“We love the land endlessly,”

oblivious to their deeds…

So their love freed them.

See, prison is for lovers.

I interrogated my soul

during moments of doubt and distraction:

“What of your crime?”

Its meaning escapes me now.

I said the thing and

revealed my thoughts;

I wrote about the current injustice,

wishes in ink,

a poem I wrote…

The charge has worn my body,

from my toes to the top of my head,

for I am a poet in prison,

a poet in the land of art.

I am accused of words,

my pen the instrument.

Ink— blood of the heart— bears witness

and reads the charges.

Listen, my destiny, my life,

to what the judge said:

A poem stands accused,

my poem morphs into a crime.

In the land of freedom,

the artist’s fate is prison.

Links to more poems by Dareen Tatour in English

The poem that is at the center of the trial: "Resist, My People, Resist Them" translated by Tariq al Haydar

Two more poems: "I’ll Forget It, As You Wish" and "I Will Not Leave" translated by Jonathan Wright.

"I... Who Am I?" translated by Andrew Leber in ArabLit.

A Poet’s Hallucinations” translated by Jonathan Wright.

Rebellion of Silence” translated by Andrew Leber.

Poems by Dareen Tatour in Arabic

Resist, My People, Resist Them - the video

"Poet Behind Bars" in Arabic in Al-Las'a

From my detention and exile - poetic letter to those in solidarity

Dareen reading 3 poems about the oppression of women on International Women's Day in Nazareth, 2013

Poems of Dareen Tatour translated to Hebrew

Three poems about the oppression of women published in Haaretz.

The poem at the center of the trial - Resist My People Resist Them - in Local Call

From my detention and exile I love you - poem sent to those in solidarity with her  - Haifa Hahofshit

Poet Behind Bars in Haoketz

Words from the diary of a prisoner - 2010 - in Haifa Hahofshit

“Poet Behind Bars” translated to 15 languages

This poem was written by Tatour in Jalameh prison at the day of her indictment.

It was first published in English in the site “Arabic Literature (In English)”.

The original Arabic text "شاعرة من وراء القضبان" was published in Al-Las'a.

On “International Translation Day”, September 30, 2016, Pen International initiated the translation of this poem to many languages. Below are links to another 15 translations:

Read this poem in Kurdish, Dutch, Italian (by Trieste PEN), Italian (by Italian PEN), Georgian, Tamazight, Catalan, Spanish, Hungarian, Afrikaans, Basque, Portuguese, Romanian, Finnish, Hebrew.


Dareen Tatour Legal Aid