Abbas BEYDOUN (Lebanon) – IPNHK 10th Anniversary Celebration


Abbas BEYDOUN (Lebanon) is a poet, novelist and journalist. He studied at the Lebanese University in Beirut and the Sorbonne in Paris. He was involved in left-wing politics and spent time in jail as a young man. Since becoming a full-time writer, he has published numerous volumes of poetry. His works have been translated into all the major European languages. Since 1997, Beydoun has been cultural editor of the Beiruti newspaper As-Safir. In 2017, his book Khareef al Bara’a (The Autumn of Innocence) won the Sheik Zayed Book Award.


The murderers here do nothing except be murderers. And we say: the angels have left and they have done nothing. And we say: the wellbred are few now, and the teachers have fled.

Precise pain need no instrument, the way poison acts without volition. But a thought without speech, we do not know when it will be murdered.

Pride, when it wounds, spills no blood; it spills cruelty. Yet pain is made in abundance and is poured on everyone.

The murderers here do nothing. But you know they bury something in their silence. In a secret language the loss of a word means a tomb.

(Translated by Khaled Mattawa)