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Youssef Rzouga, Translated from Arabic to English by Imene Bennani


We Will Surely Dance



After a year of dreaming

Or after a while

We will dance under the rain

Or above it

We will dance

So, wait for me

Until we meet

Keep silent

And wait for me

I won’t be late, no I won’t

Unless it were to stay longer

With a woman

Who is exactly you

And am back from you at last

Shall we dance now?


We will surely dance she said

And till we meet

Keep waiting for me there

For I have a date with you now

And I might linger in you

Wait for me here

For I am back

From you

To you


So let’s dance

And together soar


Far away

We Have Words


“I long for you and that is the problem”

Don’t worry

We have dreaming

And the words

The smiles that cross the sea

And the kisses

All this longing

To stay together

And to stay together

We had to have a leaving

Like this

So that we suffer

A little

And write poetry

The size of our longing

“سنرقص حتما”



بعد عام من الحلم

أو بعد حين

سنرقص تحت المطر

أو فوق المطر



و إلى أن يحين اللقاء

الزمي الصمت

و انتظريني

فلن أتأخر

لن أتأخر

لن أتأخر

إلا لأبقى كثيرا

مع امرأة

هي أنت تماما

و قد عدت منك، أخيرا

ألا نرقص الآن


حتما سنفعل، قالت

و حتى يحين اللقاء


انتظرني كثيرا، هناك

فلي موعد معك الآن

قد أتأخر فيك

انتظرني هنا

فأنا منك

عائدة، وإليك

لنرقص إذن

و لنحلّق معا

عاليا و بعيدا

 "أحنّ إليك وتلك هي المشكلة "


لا تخافي

لنا الحلم والكلمات

لنا البسمات التي تعبر البحر والقبلات

لنا كل هذا الحنين

لنبقى معا

ولنبقى معا

كان لا بدّ من مثل هذا الرحيل

لنشقى قليلا

و نكتب شعرا

بحجم الحنين.



In the evening

She practices yoga

Lingers in absence


While there

In front of her and behind

I have but leaving

To the heights of silence

Where her sky resides


هي في المساء

تمارس اليوغا

و تمعن في الغياب


وليس لي

و أنا هناك



إلا الرحيل

إلى أعالي الصمت

حيث سماؤها

KNOT Magazine
Knot Magazine

Imene Bennani is a Tunisian scholar who graduated from the Faculty of Arts of Sousse (Tunisia) and at present works as assistant at the University of Kairouan. She is currently preparing her PhD on contemporary Arab American Poetry. Her fields of interest include (Arab) American Literature, literary theory, culture studies, and literary translation.

Tunisian poet,  Youssef Rzouga was born on March 21, 1957 in Ksour Essef, Tunisia and he is considered as one of the most representative figures of the contemporary Tunisian poetry. National and Arab critics seem to be unanimous about the fact that he is a unique and original poetic voice.


In addition to his ten poetic books- among which we can cite : The program of the Rose, The Wolf in the Word, The Butterfly and the Dynamite, and Yogana- Rzouga wrote a novel The Archipelago (Tunis 1986) and a tale for children : And the Orange Flied Away.


In 2003, the first volume of his Collected Poetic Works was published and it has met with great critical acclaim and confirmed his position as the most prolific and brilliant poet in North Africa.


Youssef Rzouga has won many awards and a number of his poems were translated into many languages such as French, English, Spanish, Russian, etc. The Chekhov's Nail was published by Moment Digibooks Ltd., 2014 and Farewell to the Innocence of the World is forthcoming from AlAin Press (Egypt).







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