Ashraf Aboul-Yazid’s new  Poetry Anthology

The cover photo by Kuwaiti artist Suleiman Haider, designed by artist Mustafa Barakat

The cover photo by Kuwaiti artist Suleiman Haider, designed by artist Mustafa Barakat

By Gioia Lomasti
Poet, translator and editor, Italy

ROME: Ashraf Aboul-Yazid (Ashraf Dali), Egypt, is President, Asia Journalist Association (AJA), since April 2016, Editor in Chief, THE SILK ROAD LITERATURE SERIES,  a member of Egyptian Writers Union, and the National Coordinator of World Poetry Movement (WPM) in Egypt.

He was awrded the Manhae Grand Prize in Literature, Korea (2014), Arab Journalism Award in Culture, UAE (2015), The Gold Medal in LIFFT Eurasian Literary Festival, Istanbul, Turkey (2021), The Medal of Esteemed Patron of Arts, PAWA, Ibadan, Nigeria (2022), and Sawiris Cultural Award. Children Literature, Cairo, Egypt (2023).

Portrait of Ashraf Abu Al-Yazid, by artist Alaa Hegazy

Portrait of Ashraf Abu Al-Yazid, by artist Alaa Hegazy

This year marks 35 years since the publication of the first poetry collection by poet Ashraf Aboul-Yazid, and it seems that he is preparing to celebrate this occasion!

Indeed, next month, Al-Nasher Publishing House in Egypt, as part of the Silk Road Literature Series, will issue my collection (Poems), a Poetry Anthology (1989 – 2024), which includes poems from my first collection, “The Whisper of the Sea (1989), and the second, “The Shells” (1996), the third “The Memory of Silence” (2000), the fourth “On the Path of Death” (2001), and the fifth “The Memory of Butterflies” (2004). This is in addition to selections from two collections published previously in English, namely “The Maps of Mirage” (2013), and “The Monk on the gray mountaintop” (2023).

(The Monk on the gray mountaintop) calligraphy by artist Dr. Yassin Harraz

“The Monk on the gray mountaintop” calligraphy by artist Dr. Yassin Harraz

I read and translated your poem “The Monk on the gray mountaintop” into Italian. What is the secret of your interest in this poem in particular?

The poem was written down in its final form on my sixtieth birthday, so I included it in the poetry collection. It comes in an appendix of 20 languages, with poetic translations in Translated from English to Sindhi by Nasir Aijaz, Sindh, Pakistan, to Persian by Alireza Bahrami, Iran, to English by Dr. Salwa Goda, Egypt, to French by Prof. Achour Fenni, Algeria, to Korean by (Cherry) Lee Yeon – Sil, Korea, to Chinese by Sue Zhu, NZ/China, to Spanish by Dr. Nadia Gamaleddin, Egypt, to Manipuri by Misna Chanu, India, to Turkish by Caroline Laurent Turunç, Turkey, to Indonesian by Lily Siti Multatuliana, Indonesia, to Serbian by Ana Stjelja, Serbia, to Bengali by Rezauddin Stalin, Bangladesh, to Russian by Eldar Akhadov, Russia- Azerbaijan, to Tajik by Abdukakhor Kosim, Tajikstan, Azerbaijani by Elmaya Cabbarova, Azerbaijan, to Armenian by Mariana Bertizlian, Syria,  to Malyalam by  Fayrouz Razia, India, to Kyrgyzstani by Sagyn Berkinalieva. Kyrgyzstan, to Urdu by Shabbir Soomro, Pakistan and – of course – to Italian by Alessia Angela Ferrari Dream, in collaboration with you dear Gioia Lomasti, Italy.

20 translators of “The Monk on the gray mountaintop”

20 translators of “The Monk on the gray mountaintop”

I think you have a wealth of translated poetry, right?

My collections have been translated into many languages, a total of 15 poetry collections have been published, including three collections in Persian, translated by Professor Nasreen Chakibi Mumtaz, and two in Spanish translated by Dr. Nadia Gamaleddin, and a collection of poems in Turkish, translated by Metin Fındıkçı, German, Serbian, translated by Dr. Ana Stjelja, Russian, translated by Eldar Akhadov, Azeri, translated by Tirana Muhammad, Sindhi, translated by Nasir Aijaz, Urdu, translated by Shabbir Soomro, and English where I translated its poems.

Ashraf Aboul-Yazid

Ashraf Aboul-Yazid

Ashraf Aboul-Yazid| Three Poems

Seven Evenings


Looking for unused faces
In the piles of destroyed masks
To conceal
– When I meet you –
Some sadness used to cover
The continent of my heart.


Being tortured by some songs
I threw my ears beyond the noisy silence.
To hear the same repeated news.


Before the thousand closed doors
Of the palace of sorrow in my heart
I stand,
Without a key.


I tie the stone of silence to my head
And fall,
In the sea of sleep,
Like an anchor splitting
The ocean’s breast!


Rising from my head,
The memory of death grows,
To fall in my inkpot.
It makes the passed away people
Scatter as letters do
in the wind’s hands.

Those are the crossing illusions
In my heart,
I shall never feel calm,
Till my heart puts its anchor
In the skin of darkness.


I tell my daughter a story
Before she sleeps,
But we are always attacked by night
Before the prince of our tale
Meets the lady with the crystal shoe.


Shut the window of the day
in the face of last night’s dreams.
To cry behind the curtains
of my forgotten days.


How hard are these days
which run the sadness of the world
in our hearts.

No matter how much we put
the bread of our estrangement
in the tea cup of nostalgia.

It is getting drier, harder,
and more bitter. 

A Wound

Our thick blood will dry on wounds
and be thrown by the angry wind,
to find places for
The new ones.

Our scattered drops of blood
on the sandy roads
are drunk by the desert plants
to grow thorns
ready to attack a wild plant.

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