Poetry, Writing



Image result for smile SKY


I like reading poetry especially with end rhymes and most of my readings are belonging to the modern Arabic poetry; mainly the 19th and early 20th centuries. Though I studied other eras, but the only lines I still memorize are from the modern era; may be because I studied them at school age. By the way, this saying ”Learning at a young age is like engraving a stone!” is absolutely true because what you learned at an early age would never fade!

I have been thinking about sharing some Arabic poetry that has been translated into English and would like to start with  Smile Poem by Elia Abu Madi (1890-1957).

Abu Madi is a Lebanese who emigrated to the United States in 1911. He  lived most of his life and died in the USA.


He said: Lo, the sky is somber; then frowned.

I said: Smile! Is it enough that the sky frowns?

He said: Youth has left me and fled;

I said: Smile!

Sorrow will never bring back the vanished youth!

He said: The one I loved and was my heaven has tortured my soul and turned my life into hell.

 She betrayed me after I gave her my heart.

So how can I smile?

I said: Smile and enjoy your life!

If you dwell on the hurt she dealt you, you would spend your whole life suffering!

He said: Business is in a great turmoil,

Like a traveler, almost dying of thirst.

Like a consumptive young lass, in dire need of blood; though she is wasting it in each gasp.

I said: Smile,

You are not the cause of her disease,
Nor will you be able to heal her.
Smile, for a smile may help…

If someone else is a culprit, should you lose sleep worrying,
as if you were the culprit!

He said: The loud cries of my enemies are blaring around me.
How can I be happy when enemies are roundabout?

I said: Smile,

They are not after you for a crime you have committed!
They would have ought against you if you weren’t better and greater than themselves.

He said: The sales’ season is upon us, yet my merchandise of clothes and toys is not selling at all.
I have an obligation toward my loved ones, yet, I have no single penny in my hand.

I said: Smile,

It is enough you are still living,
And not lacking in friends and well wishers.

He said: The days have forced me to swallow bitter gall.

I said: Smile,

Even if bitter gall was given to you in strong doses.

Perhaps if someone saw you in good spirits, he would discard gloom and rejoice!

Will your complaining ever earn you a penny?

Will you lose anything for being cheerful?


There is no danger in parting your lips;
Your face will not disfigure if you smile,
Laugh, for the stars laugh in the darkest nights;
And it is for this reason we love the stars.

He said: Cheerfulness makes no one happy,
People come to this world and leave it against their will.

I said: Smile

As long as a short span separates you from death;
For once dead, you will not smile again!


10 thoughts on “SMILE”

  1. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I like to read more of the translations. I’ll read more of your posts later. I’m going to see my daughter who is having a baby in 6 days! Thank you for reading and commenting so many of my posts!

    Liked by 1 person

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