Top 10 Most Popular Poems of Nizar Qabbani

These are the top ten (10) most popular poems of Nizar Qabbani .

From A Brief Love Letter to Light Is More Important Than The Lantern.

If you want to know his greatest poems of all time, then this poetry collection is for you.

Keep reading!.

A Brief Love Letter

My darling, I have much to say
Where o precious one shall I begin ?
All that is in you is princely
O you who makes of my words through their meaning
Cocoons of silk
These are my songs and this is me
This short book contains us
Tomorrow when I return its pages
A lamp will lament
A bed will sing
Its letters from longing will turn green
Its commas be on the verge of flight
Do not say: why did this youth
Speak of me to the winding road and the stream
The almond tree and the tulip
So that the world escorts me wherever I go ?
Why did he sing these songs ?
Now there is no star
That is not perfumed with my fragrance
Tomorrow people will see me in his verse
A mouth the taste of wine, close-cropped hair
Ignore what people say
You will be great only through my great love
What would the world have been if we had not been
If your eyes had not been, what would the world have been?

Nizar Qabbani

I Am With Terrorism

We are accused of terrorism:
if we defended rose and woman
and the mighty verse…
and the blueness of sky…
A dominion… nothing left therein…
No water, no air…
No tent, no camel,
and not even dark Arabica coffee!!

We are accused of terrorism:
if we defended with guts
the hair of Balqis
and the lips of Maysun
if we defended Hind, and Da`d
Lubna and Rabab…
and the stream of Kohl
coming down from their lashes like the verses of revelation.
You will not find with me
a secret poem
or a secret logos
or books I put behind doors.
I do not even have one poem
walking down the street, wearing veil.

We are accused of terrorism:
if we wrote about the ruins of a homeland
torn, weak…
a homeland with no address
and an nation with no names

I seek the remnants of a homeland
none of its grand poems is left
except the bemoans of Khansa.

I seek a dominion in whose horizons
no freedom can be found
red… blue or yellow.

A homeland forbidding us from bying a newspaper
or listening to the news.
A dominion wherein birds are forbidden
from chirping.
A homeland wherein, out of terror [ru`b],
its writers got accustomed to write about

A homeland, in the likeness of poetry in our lands:
It is vain talk,
no rhythm,
Ajam, with a crooked face and tongue:
No beginning
No end
No relation with people’s worry
mother earth
and the crisis of man.

A dominion…
going to peace talks
with no honor
no shoe.

A homeland,
men peed in their pans…
women are those left to defend honor.

Salt in our eyes
Salt in our lips
Salt in our words
Can the self carry such dryness?
An inheritance we got from the barren Qahtan?
In our nation, no Mu`awiya, and no Abu Sufiyan
No one is left to say “NO”
and face the quitters
they gave up our houses, our bread and our [olive] oil.
They transformed our bright history into a mediocre store.

In our lives, no poem is left,
since we lost our chastity in the bed of the Sultan.

They got accustomed to us, the humbled.
What is left to man
when all that remains
is disgrace.

I seek in the books of history
Ussamah ibn al-Munqith
Uqba ibn Nafi`
Omar, and Hamzah
and Khalid, driving his flocks conquering the Shem.
I seek a Mu`tasim Billah
Saving women from the cruelty of rape
and the fire.

I seek latter days men
All I can see is frightened cats
Scared for their own souls, from
the sultanship of mice.

Is this an overwhelming national blindness?
Are we blind to colors?

We are accused of terrorism
If we refuse to die
with Israel’s bulldozers
tearing our land
tearing our history
tearing our Evangelium
tearing our Koran
tearing the graves of our prophets
If this was our sin,
then, lo, how beautiful terrorism is?

We are accused of terrorism
if we refused to be effaced
by the hands of the Mogul, Jews and Barbarians
if we throw a stone
at the glass of the the Security Council
after the Ceasar of Ceasars got a hold of it.

We are accused of terrorism
if we refuse to negociate with the wolf
and shake the hand with a whore

Against the cultures of the peoples
with no culture
Against the civilizations of the civilized
with no civilization
a mighty edifice
with no walls!

We are accused of terrorism:
if we refused an era
America became
the foolish, the rich, the mighty
translated, sworn
in Hebrew.

We are accused of terrorism:
if we throw a rose
to Jerusalem
to al-Khalil
to Ghazza
to an-Nasirah
if we took bread and water
to beleaguered Troy.

We are accused of terrorism:
if we raised our voices against
the regionalists of our leaders.
All changed their rides:
from Unionists
to Brokers.

If we committed the heinous crime of culture
if we revolted against the orders of the grand caliph
and the seat of the caliphate
If we read jurisprudence or politics
If we recalled God
and read verse al-Fat-h
[that Chapter of Conquest].
If we listened to the Friday sermon
then we are well-established in the art of terrorism

We are accused of terrorism
if we defended land
and the honor of dust
if we revolted against the rape of people
and our rape
if we defended the last palm trees in our desert
the last stars in our sky
the last syllabi of our names
the last milk in our mothers’ bosoms
if this was our sin
how beautiful is terrorism.

I am with terrorism
if it is able to save me
from the immigrants from Russia
Romania, Hungaria, and Poland

They settled in Palestine
set foot on our shoulders
to steal the minarets of al-Quds
and the door of Aqsa
to steal the arabesques
and the domes.

I am with terrorism
if it will free the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth,
and the virgin, Meriam Betula
and the holy city
from the ambassadors of death and desolation

The nationalist street was fervent
like a wild horse.
The rivers were abundant with the spirit of youth.

But after Olso,
we no longer had teeth:
we are now a blind and lost people.

We are accused of terrorism:
if we defended with full-force
our poetic heritage
our national wall
our rosy civilization
the culture of flutes in our mountains
and the mirrors displaying blackened eyes.

We are accused of terrorism:
if we defended what we wrote
El azure of our sea
and the aroma of ink
if we defended the freedom of the word
and the holiness of books

I am with terrorism
if it is able to free a people
from tyrants and tyranny
if it is able to save man from the cruelty of man
to return lemon, olive tree, and bird to the South of Lebanon
and the smile back to Golan

I am with terrorism
if it will save me
from the Caesar of Yehuda
and the Caesar of Rome

I am with terrorism
as long as this new world order
is shared
between America and Israel

I am with terrorism
with all my poetry
with all my words
and all my teeth
as long as this new world
is in the hands of a butcher.

I am with terrorism
if the U.S. Senate
enacts judgment
decrees reward and punishment

I am with Irhab [terrorism]
as long this new world order
hates the smell of A`rab.

I am with terrorism
as long as the new world order
wants to slaughter my off-spring.
and send them to dogs.

For all this
I raise my voice high:
I am with terrorism
I am with terrorism
I am with terrorism…

Nizar Qabbani

Five Letters to my Mother

Good morning sweetheart.
Good morning my Saint of a sweetheart.
It has been two year mother
since the boy has sailed
on his mythical journey.
Since he hid within his luggage
the green morning of his homeland
and her stars, and her streams,
and all of her red poppy.
Since he hid in his cloths
bunches of mint and thyme,
and a Damascene Lilac.

I am alone.
The smoke of my cigarette is bored,
and even my seat of me is bored
My sorrows are like flocking birds looking for a grain field in season.
I became acquainted with the women of Europe,
I became acquainted with their tired civilization.
I toured India, and I toured China,
I toured the entire oriental world,
and nowhere I found,
a Lady to comb my golden hair.
A Lady that hides for me in her purse a sugar candy.
A lady that dresses me when I am naked,
and lifts me up when I fall.
Mother: I am that boy who sailed,
and still longs to that sugar candy.
So how come or how can I, Mother,
become a father and never grow up.

Good morning from Madrid.
How is the ‘Fullah’?
I beg you to take care of her,
That baby of a baby.
She was the dearest love to Father.
He spoiled her like his daughter.
He used to invite her to his morning coffee.
He used to feed her and water her,
and cover her with his mercy.
And when he died,
She always dreamt about his return.
She looked for him in the corners of his room.
She asked about his robe,
and asked about his newspaper,
and asked, when the summer came,
about the blue color of his eyes,
so that she can throw within his palms,
her golden coins.

I send my best regards
to a house that taught us love and mercy.
To your white flowers,
the best in the neighborhood.
To my bed, to my books,
to all of the kids in the alley.
To all of these walls we covered
with noise from our writings.
To the lazy cat sleeping on the balcony.
To the lilac climbing bush the neighbor’s window.
It has been two long years, Mother,
with the face of Damascus being like a bird,
digging within my conscience,
biting at my curtains,
and picking, with a gentle beak, at my fingers.
It has been two years Mother,
since the nights of Damascus,
the odors of Damascus,
the houses of Damascus,
have been inhabiting our imagination.
The pillar lights of her mosques,
have been guiding our sails.
As if the pillars of the Amawi,
have been planted in our hearts.
As if the orchards are still perfuming our conscience.
As if the lights and the rocks,
have all traveled with us.

This is September, Mother,
and here is sorrow bringing me his wrapped gifts.
Leaving at my window his tears and his concerns.
This is September, where is Damascus?
Where is Father and his eyes.
Where is the silk of his glances,
and where is the aroma of his coffee.
May God bless his grave.
And where is the vastness of our large house,
and where is its comfort.
And where is the stairwell laughing at the tickles of blooms,
and where is my childhood.
Draggling the tail of the cat,
and eating from the grape vine,
and snipping from the lilac.

Damascus, Damascus,
what a poem we wrote within our eyes.
What a pretty child that we crucified.
We kneeled at her feet,
and we melted in her passion,
until, we killed her with love.

Nizar Qabbani

A Damascene Moon

Green Tunisia, I have come to you as a lover
On my brow, a rose and a book
For I am the Damascene whose profession is passion
Whose singing turns the herbs green
A Damascene moon travels through my blood
Nightingales… and grain… and domes
From Damascus, jasmine begins its whiteness
And fragrances perfume themselves with her scent
From Damascus, water begins… for wherever
You lean your head, a stream flows
And poetry is a sparrow spreading its wings
Over Sham… and a poet is a voyager
From Damascus, love begins… for our ancestors
Worshipped beauty, they dissolved it, and they melted away
From Damascus, horses begin their journey
And the stirrups are tightened for the great conquest
From Damascus, eternity begins… and with her
Languages remain and genealogies are preserved
And Damascus gives Arabism its form
And on its land, epochs materialize

Nizar Qabbani

I Conquer The World With Words

I conquer the world with words,
conquer the mother tongue,
verbs, nouns, syntax.
I sweep away the beginning of things
and with a new language
that has the music of water the message of fire
I light the coming age
and stop time in your eyes
and wipe away the line
that separates
time from this single moment.

Nizar Qabbani

Letter From Under The Sea

If you are my friend…
Help me… to leave you
Or if you are my lover…
Help me… so I can be healed of you…
If I knew….
that the ocean is very deep… I would not have swam…
If I knew… how I would end,
I would not have began

I desire you…so teach me not to desire
teach me…
how to cut the roots of your love from the depths
teach me…
how tears may die in the eyes
and love may commit suicide

If you are prophet,
Cleanse me from this spell
Deliver me from this atheism…
Your love is like atheism… so purify me from this atheism

If you are strong…
Rescue me from this ocean
For I don’t know how to swim
The blue waves… in your eyes
drag me… to the depths
nothing but the color blue
and I have no experience
in love… and no boat…

If I am dear to you
then take my hand
For I am filled with desire… from my
head to my feet

I am breathing under water!
I am drowning…

Nizar Qabbani

A Letter From A Stupid Woman

(A Letter to a Man)


My dear Master,
This is a letter from a stupid woman
Has a stupid woman before me, written to you?
My name? Lets put names aside
Rania, or Zaynab
or Hind or Hayfa
The silliest thing we carry, my Master, are names


My Master:
I am frightened to tell you my thoughts
I am frightened, if I did,
that the heavens would burn
For your East, my dear Master,
confiscate blue letters
confiscate dreams from the treasure chests of women
Practices suppression, upon the emotions of women
It uses knives…
and cleavers…
to speak to women
and butchers spring and passions
and black plaits
And your East, dear Master,
Manufactures the delicate crown of the East
from the skulls of women


Don’t criticize me, Master
If my writing is poor
For I write and the sword is behind my door
And beyond the room is the sound of wind and howling dogs
My master!
‘Antar al Abys is behind my door!
He will butcher me
If he saw my letter
He will cut my head off
If I spoke of my torture
He will cut my head off
If he saw the sheerness of my clothes
For your East, my dear Master,
Surrounds women with spears
And your East, my dear Master
elects the men to become Prophets,
and buries the women in the dust.


Don’t become annoyed!
My dear Master, from these lines
Don’t become annoyed!
If I smash the complaints blocked for centuries
If I unsealed my consciousness
If I ran away…
From the domes of the Harem in the castles
If I rebelled, against my death…
against my grave, against my roots…
and the giant slaughter house….

Don’t become annoyed, my dear Master,
If I revealed to you my feelings
For the Eastern man
Is not concerned with poetry or feelings
The Eastern man, and forgive my insolence, does not understand women
but over the sheets.


I am sorry my master -If I have insolently attacked the kingdom of Men
for the great literature of course
is the literature of men
And love has always been
the allotment of men…
And sex has always been
a drug sold to men

A senile fairytale, the freedom of women in our countries
For there is no freedom
Other than, the freedom of men…

My Master
Say all you wish of me. It does not matter to me:
Shallow… Stupid… Crazy… Simple minded.
It does not concern me anymore..
For whoever writes about her concerns…
in the logic of Men is called
a stupid woman
and didn’t I tell you in the beginning
that I am a stupid woman?

Nizar Qabbani

Every Time I Kiss You

Every time I kiss you
After a long separation
I feel
I am putting a hurried love letter
In a red mailbox.

Nizar Qabbani


He lets me listen, when he moves me,
Words are not like other words
He takes me, from under my arms
He plants me, in a distant cloud
And the black rain in my eyes
Falls in torrents, torrents
He carries me with him, he carries me
To an evening of perfumed balconies

And I am like a child in his hands
Like a feather carried by the wind
He carries for me seven moons in his hands
and a bundle of songs
He gives me sun, he gives me summer
and flocks of swallows
He tells me that I am his treasure
And that I am equal to thousands of stars
And that I am treasure, and that I am
more beautiful than he has seen of paintings
He tells me things that make me dizzy
that make me forget the dance and the steps

Words…which overturn my history
which make me a woman…in seconds
He builds castles of fantasies
which I live in… for seconds…
And I return… I return to my table
Nothing with me…
Nothing with me… except words

Nizar Qabbani

Light Is More Important Than The Lantern

Light is more important than the lantern,
The poem more important than the notebook,
And the kiss more important than the lips.
My letters to you
Are greater and more important than both of us.
They are the only documents
Where people will discover
Your beauty
And my madness.

Nizar Qabbani

Wow! Nizar Qabbani is extraordinary! He was one of the most revered contemporary poets in the Arab world and considered Syria’s National Poet. Compared to other poetry collections, his poetic writing style was a combination of simplicity and elegance.

“Words” is my most-loved poem in his collection. Well, I could agree no less that some people are just like the man in it. Unbiased, it’s not just some men but also some women who know how to use flowery language very well. That will lead a person to be left behind with nothing but just words.

What about you? What’s your most favorite poem of Nizar Qabbani?

Do you still want to add another of his poem to this list? Let me know in the comment section below! 😉


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