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Two poems by Hasan Atiya Al Nassar, translated from the Italian by Anna Aresi 


Silence will come to me
the silence that enters the garments of the dead.
The moment was poor
(abandoned and wounded)
and our skies were foreign.
We will flee looking for a
howled the wind,
and our last days
screamed, wounded.






A tavern in an alleyway.
Skinny Alessio
is writing new names and new numbers
on ancient pale paper.
Poets and foreigners pass by.

There was glass on the doors;
there is cloudy glass now on the marble tables:
full of white, red wine.
The dark Sicilian in the tavern
drinks beer in the smoke
of the cigarettes he bummed; sings poems in his out-of-tune voice.
The tavern that was in the alleyway
is still there with skinny Alessio
and his ancient paper
and the Sicilian keeps singing.
I am alone with the empty glasses.
From the door to the empty glass.

The tavern that was in the alleyway
where I sat down by myself
for a long time.

fell in July’s summer.
Birds fell from the Iraqi sky
on the glass, on the marble tables
on the rain
on July’s summer.
Once upon a time, white and red wine.
It is left in the glass
floating sometimes
in the alleyway’s tavern.
The door’s glass
is left on the marble tables.
We are left in the glass.
Alessio the skinny keeps writing
our names
on ancient dead paper
without additions.

Of perhaps we are left under the marble,
with white, red wine.



Our trees
and our gardens
the earth, the candles, the house.
The glass and our soul: everything in darkness.
Please, do not leave
our chalices empty
because young women
want to jump into the void
and fly over our dark walls
over the darkness of our gardens
that are lit by your red chalice.


Hasan Atiya Al Nassar was born in Nassiriya, Iraq. He fled his native country for political reasons and moved to Italy in 1980. He lived in exile, in Bologna and then in Florence. Al Nassar wrote in Arabic and Italian, exploring themes such as geographical and existential exile, longing for a far-away motherland, and human fragility in the world. His poetry received several awards, including first prize in the Concorso di Poesia Città di Castelfiorentino in 1993 and the national poetry prize Maria Marino della città di Caltagirone in 2003. Al Nassar died near Florence in 2017.


Anna Aresi is a US-based Italian translator and educator. She has translated the poems of Valerio Grutt (Doublespeak Magazine, 2023) and Mariangela Gualtieri (Asymptote Journal, 2020), among many others.

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