Dr Niamh On The Plum Tree

Childhood Imagination Sows Seeds of Future Brilliance

The Wednesday Poetry Corner with Imen Benyoub

Algerian, Imen Benyoub is a poet I have long admired. She writes with such feeling and movement. There is something veiled about her poems that entices you to want to dive into an underlying mystery. Thank you, Imen for visiting the us on the plum tree and sharing your passion for poetry with us.

A heart without borders…
My story with Nathalie Handal

By Imen Benyoub

When I write, I surrenderNAT_BIO_IMAGE

Surrender my senses to a delicious chaos – my soul to reach a deeper abyss and my heart to travel outside its borders.

It is the freedom that comes with writing  that made me live through my pen and left me endlessly caught between worlds and words.

It is the freedom that sent Nathalie Handal on a journey from New York to  Andalucia – full of colours, textures, and fragrant with history, to recreate the journey of her favourite poet, Federico Garcia Lorca, in reverse, and reconnect with her Mediterranean Eastern roots.

I was confused about what to call a woman whose soul stretches across four continents, a woman with many identites and many homes. But after reading “Poet in Andalucia,” I realized she is a woman who does not recognize borders. Like a gypsy, she moves, collects memories, scents, music, visions of landscapes and secret longings and fuses them into poems.

Nathalie Handal, a poet, playwright, translator and editor was born to Palestinian parents from Bethelehem. She travelled extensively through the United States, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. Like Mahmoud Darwish and many exiled Palestinian poets, she tries to give a new meaning and shape to the word “home,” and Andalucia with the richness and the complexity of its cultural and religious heritage reminds her of her own country, where Muslims, Christians and Jews live together in harmony and peace. Drowning in nostalgia for a beautiful yet sad past, Handal tries to revive traditions of Andalusian poets, along with the spirit of Lorca who inspires her work.

Her poems drip with sensuality and longing, woven in English, Arabic, French and Spanish, languages she grew up speaking as a result of her displacement, a special feature that gave her work a multi-layered depth and musicality.

Along with  “Poet in Andalucia,” Handal published “The Lives Of Rain,” “The Neverfield” and “Love And Strange Horses.” She won numerous awards and she lectures worldwide.

Nathalie Handal is a universal poet; her poetry is a mirror to her lifestyle as a beautiful nomad in search for an identity. Her voice is honest and passionate, where the East embraces the West in a beautiful harmony.

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About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamhchildrensbooks.com

21 comments on “The Wednesday Poetry Corner with Imen Benyoub

  1. Shawn MacKENZIE
    September 11, 2013

    Reblogged this on MacKENZIE's Dragonsnest and commented:
    Imen Benyoub on Nathalie Handal and the international power of words. Something we can all take to heart in these precarious times. Brava!

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      September 11, 2013

      Yes! An important reminder how poetry crosses boundaries of race and creed.

      Like

  2. Pendyala Pradeep
    September 11, 2013

    Just heard the poem ” while waiting for death ” by Nathalie Handal in her own voice in an excellent video. Needless to say, she’s a gifted lady with immense beauty, great voice and equally beautiful mind. I wish, other poets too would be inspired by her zest for living and poetry.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      September 11, 2013

      Many thanks for your most welcome comment, Pendyala. And I agree. I want to hear more inspiring poetry – that lifts the spirit and re-connects us with what is divine within us.

      Like

  3. Imen Benyoub
    September 11, 2013

    thank you Shawn and Pendyala..she is so inspiring..xx

    Like

    • Shawn MacKENZIE
      September 11, 2013

      My pleasure, Imen. We need all the exquisite writing we can get in the world. ❤

      Like

  4. Pendyala Pradeep
    September 11, 2013

    Well, I must admit dear Niamh Clune, thanks to you and Nathalie Handal…I was inspired to record one poem of Dr Ampat Koshy sir in my voice this evening

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      September 11, 2013

      I am sure it will sound great! I would love you to do a Wednesday Corner for us Pendyala. Would you agree? I can direct message you with instructions, if you wish.

      Like

  5. johncoyote
    September 11, 2013

    You are a amazing Poet. It is good to hear the writer read their words. You did a outstanding job with verbal poetry.

    Like

    • Imen Benyoub
      September 11, 2013

      thank you very much for you reading and for the lovely comment John..

      Like

  6. Patricia Tilton
    September 11, 2013

    Thank you for introducing me to Nathalie Handal. And I enjoyed hearing her poetry in her own words — so much more meaning. She has a beautiful gift to share with the world.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      September 11, 2013

      Yes! Thank you Patricia. It is always lovely to have you visit us here.

      Like

    • Imen Benyoub
      September 12, 2013

      thank you Patricia for your visit and lovely comment..a beautiful soul she is..xx

      Like

  7. thiskidreviewsbooks
    September 12, 2013

    WOW! That’s a lot of traveling! Great poem!

    Like

  8. the secret keeper
    September 12, 2013

    After I reread the beginning of your post, I heard your words inside my soul. What you said about your writing, how it opens up your soul and the borders of your heart become infinite. My interpretation. It sounds so familiar. I love the way you have expressed what is difficult to find in words, in order to create an understanding for it. Your way of expressing creativity & writing is so brilliant. I relistened to Nathalie Handal’s video. She held me in the palm of her hand. Her words were so ethereal and light, they floated up into the sky and beyond. Though they spoke of death being out there waiting. It is not time until it is. It did not frighten me. Her words were actually reassuring. What a perfect piece. I felt it deeply touch my heart and soul. Thank you Imen. Very Beautiful. And thank you, Niamh for featuring Imen Benyoub. It was a great post. Jennifer Jk the secret keeper

    Like

    • Imen Benyoub
      September 18, 2013

      heartwarming words Jennifer..always love reading your comments..thank you so much my darling xx

      Like

  9. Jamie Dedes
    September 19, 2013

    Thank you, Imen, for a wonderful introduction to a poet I must get to know for her poetry, origins, and this new connection to Lorca. What an adventure. I appreciate the inclusion of the video.

    Thank you, Niamh, for hosting this.

    With Imen’s and Niamh’s permission, I would like to post this to:
    http://intothebardo.wordpress.com/
    All links and credit as appropriate.
    I will return here for a response.

    Like

  10. Jamie Dedes
    September 19, 2013

    Thank you for both, Niamh.

    Like

    • Imen Benyoub
      September 22, 2013

      Jamie sorry am late but thank you so much for your visit..feel welcome to share and spread her word..will visit you space with pleasure xx

      Like

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This entry was posted on September 11, 2013 by in Guest Authors, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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