LITERATURE AND CREATIVE WRITING
I wrote the following poem on a trip in Paris. My love for Paris has always been almost palpable and yet every time I witness the glorification and worship for the Louvre, my heart breaks a little for Egypt. The Louvre houses one of, if not, the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts outside of Egypt in the world. While a lot of the artifacts are found objects, being obtained “legally”, quite a few are stolen. Regardless of how the artifacts were acquired, I don’t want to see or hear people say “I want to see Egypt” when visiting the Louvre. You will not find Egypt in there, it does not belong in there, and will never belong anywhere else other than Egypt.
Profiter du Louvre
Bask in the glory of the Louvre!
Indulge in the history and the stories
In a building holding
And reconstructed histories.
Aller! Profiter du Louvre!
Profiter des souvenirs volés
Profiter des artefacts volés
De mon pays.
When you go into the Louvre
When you witness the glory
Of the sarcophagus
The power of the sphinx head,
The paramount statues,
Remember that the mummies do not lie there,
The pharaohs do not live there,
History does not belong in there
But in the blood of the Egyptians,
In the depth of the Nile,
In the speck of sand of each pharaonic pyramid.
Quand t’amuser et profiter du Louvre,
N’oublie pas L’Egypte.
Quand vous voyez la statue suprême
N’oublie pas L’Egypte.
Quand vous marchez dans le Louvre,
descendant des souvenirs d’une ancienne civilisation
c’était une fois en Egypte.
Cela a déjà appartenu à l’Egypte.
I am not asking to return our memories.
I am asking you to remember.
Enjoy the beauty of the Louvre.
You are not stepping into what was once Egypt,
Though it may seem like it.
Remember that you are walking down
A hallway filled with artifacts and memories
Of a civilization that did not belong on this land.
لك حبي وفؤادي
Aller! Profiter du Louvre! C’est incroyable!
! مصر أم الدنيا
Click here to see a performance of the poem in front of the Louvre in Paris.
The following two sonnets come from my working collection of “skeletons of sonnets,” which include a plethora of poems built in the molds of the sonnet form. The following poems discusses a topic that I hold close to my heart: the implications and limitations of a toxic manly ideal and its detrimental effect on young boys. They currently do not have titles.
If boys will be boys
Then let us wash away our tears,
Pick up dolls for toys,
Release our built-up repressed years.
If boys will be boys, then
Let us write away toxicity,
Paper to heart, to pen,
If boys will be boys, then do not
Mold your illusion onto us,
Or ingrain the manly thought.
If boys will be boys, let’s discuss
Redefining this toxic manly ideal,
Prohibiting boys from expressing what they feel.
As a man you should always aim
To manifest and manipulate.
Manufacture a man slaughter on shame,
Mandatorily mandate your fate.
Maneuver a manageable ego,
Make it manifolded and manipular.
A manticore of sorts, let it show,
Make it manacle, never peculiar.
Manage a masculine mantra,
Use a mandrill to ingrain the manliness.
Mangle and mantel, it into the man Tantra.
Make it mantic and filled with happiness.
Fine tune these manly instructions, the work begins
To create nothing but emotionally suppressed mannequins.
Andrew Riad is a first-year undergraduate student at New York University Abu Dhabi.