Obsession | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Doria Shafik. Courtesy of public domain.

In sleepless nights
In the depths of despair
where not a ray
can be glimpsed
I think of you . . .

The ties are broken
the ropes snapped
and the songs
lost . . .

And yet
so it is . . .

I think of you



Dans les nuits blanches
Dans l’abîme du désespoir
où pas une lueur
ne se laisse entrevoir
Je songe à toi . . .

Les liens sont rompus
les cordes brisées
et les chansons
perdues . . .

Et pourtant
c’est ainsi . . .

Je songe à toi . . .


(from L’Amour perdu, Pierre Seghers, Éditeur, 1954)

Doria Shafik (1908-1975) was a poet, editor, journalist, author, and champion of women’s rights in Egypt. Educated in Paris, she authored seven books of poetry in French, including L’Amour perdu (1954).

Glenn Fetzer is a translator and writes on twentieth and twenty-first century French and francophone poets. He is department head and professor of French at New Mexico State University.
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