The poem ‘Voice’ by Syrian poet, Rasha Omran, is written exactly once to write the word ‘Sawt’ meaning voice or noise, all written in the Diwani Jali Arabic Calligraphy script.
He didn’t say anything.
It was I, who chose to listen to him.
لم يقل شيئاً
Having first met Rasha in 2009, at weekly poetry readings in Damascus, Syria, she was quick to change my perception of the middle eastern woman, as she recited the wisdom of her poetry to an entirely captivated audience of tipsy men, inside a smoky underground bar.
This design was one of eight, commissioned by Reels Festivals to accompany their poetry publication featuring contemporary poets from Lebanon, Syria, and Scotland. One piece was commissioned for each of the eight poets featured in the festival. In preparation for the festival, all of the poets travelled to Lebanon in order to translate each others poems from Arabic to English and vice versa, this is one of those recently translated poems.