Five Egyptian Pieces

1 August 2014

Alexandria

Think of the village baby.
A scene of adventure – the dream of Europe.
The eyes of marching armies fostered perplexity
that marred all its books and intellectuals
and opened their minds to the encyclopaedia of algebra
and carmine bear remembrances.
The tumult of the bears has maintained the fear.


Cairo

Ladies choose a country to call symbolic,
uncertain of which temptation to desire,
the theatre of maiming, the pain,
the poets, the verses frozen,
aware of the men and women of this road,
the cradle impossible to forget: our origins.
The Mediterranean exploits of Herodotus
spread to both of the memory vaults.
The stone murmurs our common heritage.


     Giza

We know the imagination of letters,
the country of hanging gardens, this
speaks to us. We are bound by its women,
children play with hope. The transparent work
without play is reported missing.
The expert should like food.
Ladies are prepared to become rich
despite the clangour of morality.


Luxor

In our shelter, harm depends on a fresh chance
for decadence. We have toyed with nostalgia,
and vengeance is a blind alley.
Am I not ancient? We wish to spread
a host of luxuriant factors for play.

We need her rich experience and feelings of despair.
It intensifies the suffering.
There has never been such abomination.
Each road must be ripe for the sad future,
embracing water and the thirst for travel.


     Thebes

The joint will lend an ear
to the consciousness.
It would lag behind concrete,
for the sad future is embracing water
and the thirst for travel.

Act, think about the pool, these fields.
Relax: go further to the shore,
create a stimulant for our partners.
A high-level personality means breathing.
Our neighbours must be separated.


These five poems are derived from the official English translation of a speech by French Foreign Minister
D. De Villepin in Cairo, Egypt, 2003 (Visit to Egypt: speech by Mr Domenique de Villepin, Minister of Foreign
Affairs for France, Cairo, 12 April 2003: ‘The Mediterranean World and the Middle East’.) In the case of each
poem, most of the words of M Villepin’s speech were removed, and the remainder made up the poem.

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