Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Untitled

Venus Khoury-Ghata
Venus Khoury-Ghata

Untitled

Our cries, she used to say

Would scratch the moon’s windowpanes

And scrape the corners of tombstones which milked the moon

My mother set the long slope of her back against us

to interrogate the walls’ dampness

decipher saltpeter’s crumbling alphabet

translate the symbols carved on the underside of the city

which she only knew in profile

since she never ventured farther than her shopping bag

rarely crossing the uncertain borders of her lamp

city which sent us its rejected rains

and sometimes a wheezy snow which hooked its flakes into the

pomegranate-tree’s ears

The planet must be cleaned up

God must be cleaned up!

My mother cried, tying her apron.

– Venus Khoury-Ghata (trans. Marilyn Hacker)

Venus Khoury-Ghata (b. 1937) is a Lebanese poet who writes in Arabic and French. Her work often explores the tension between Western and Eastern culture. In 1959, she was named Miss Beirut and became the Arabic translator of Europe magazine. This award-winning poet has been living in Paris since 1972 and in addition to her poetic output she has written a number of novels and essays.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Wanted: new HF ham radio
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
IAS Salary
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 26, 2020
Chapter 7 bankruptcy
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Black & Decker edger & Toro blower
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 25, 2020
Accounting/bookkeeping
San Diego Reader Classified ads
February 6, 2020
Ad
Previous article

San Diego city council quietly greenlights $525,000 harassment deal

Video-only special meeting vote
Next Article

Health problems other than the virus

Police cadets not safe at Mission Bay
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Venus Khoury-Ghata
Venus Khoury-Ghata

Untitled

Our cries, she used to say

Would scratch the moon’s windowpanes

And scrape the corners of tombstones which milked the moon

My mother set the long slope of her back against us

to interrogate the walls’ dampness

decipher saltpeter’s crumbling alphabet

translate the symbols carved on the underside of the city

which she only knew in profile

since she never ventured farther than her shopping bag

rarely crossing the uncertain borders of her lamp

city which sent us its rejected rains

and sometimes a wheezy snow which hooked its flakes into the

pomegranate-tree’s ears

The planet must be cleaned up

God must be cleaned up!

My mother cried, tying her apron.

– Venus Khoury-Ghata (trans. Marilyn Hacker)

Venus Khoury-Ghata (b. 1937) is a Lebanese poet who writes in Arabic and French. Her work often explores the tension between Western and Eastern culture. In 1959, she was named Miss Beirut and became the Arabic translator of Europe magazine. This award-winning poet has been living in Paris since 1972 and in addition to her poetic output she has written a number of novels and essays.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Reader Brunch at the Park 2020
San Diego Reader Classified ads
April 9, 2020
Wanted free used microwaves
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 31, 2020
Bamboo frame 18-speed road bike
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 26, 2020
Otay Ranch, $1,000
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Mendez Home Services
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Previous article

The death knell for death metal

Rage, sorrow, repeat
Next Article

When San Diego had the Spanish flu

From the Sweetwater River to Carrizo Gorge to Camp Kearny
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close