Poems about love

Published 2022-02-11

Valentine's Day is coming up. Flowers wither. But love poetry always remains.

Sometimes, I ask Arabic speakers about their favourite poet. The most common answer is Nizar Qabbani. Qabbani wrote a lot about love.

To celebrate Valentine's Day, I will share some quotes from Qabbani's poems.

Love and rain

We can start with the beginning of the poem Orchard.

It rains from me when I love you3
Green rain3
Blue rain3
Red rain3
Rain of all colors3

When you love someone, unexpected things happen, like rain of all colours. Except being a metafor for love, those lines are a good way to learn colours in Arabic. Green = 'akhDar. Blue = 'azraq. Red = 'aHmar.

Speaking of rain, here's a quote from Love letter 49.

I smell your rains, before they wet me3

Love and dual

Qabbani's poems are not only a good way to learn colours in Arabic. By reading the poem We are beautiful., we can learn dual.

The Arabic word for beautiful is [jamiil].


To turn the word into dual, we add the ending [aani]. That gives us the word [jamiilaani].

two beautiful

To say we two are beautiful in Arabic, we say [naHnu jamiilaani]. That is also the titel of the poem.

We are beautiful

The Arabic word for brook is [jadwal].


With the addition [aani] in the end, we turn the word into dual: [jadwalaani].

two brooks

We find two brooks in this line of poetry:

And two brooks of water ... in this stingy time.3

The Arabic word for flower is [zahra].


The word [zahra] is feminine. Words that are feminine and dual have the ending [ataani]. That gives us the word [zahrataani].

two flowers

We find two flowers in this line of poetry:

And two violas in the shanty town.3

Strong and difficult love

If we want to love, we better do it fully.

I do not believe in love with half-measures.3

Love can be so strong that it consumes. The line between euphoria and destructiveness can be thin.

In love I am slaughtered and slaughterer.3

The two lines of poery above come from the poem The best.

The poem With a newspaper depicts unrequited love. I imagine a woman sitting in a cafe, looking at her beloved.

he took the sugar that was in front of me ...3
He dissolved two pieces in the cup3
he dissolved me ...3

Impossible love

Love can be worse than difficult. It can be impossible.

In the poem The cup reader, a person is being prophesied using an cup that is turned upside down. The fortune-teller says, among other things:

Your destiny is to continue forever on the sea of love, without sails.3

Qabbani has even written a poem called The impossible love.

the impossible love3

My favourite quote from that poem is included in the blog post about Kazim As-Sahir, who sings that poem. But here is another quote that shows how impossible love can be.

I know that reaching your eyes is an illusion.

The easiest option would be to give up. But humans rarely chooses what is easiest.

If they forced me to choose, I would repeat the love for you a second time.

Love of poetry

Valentine's Day is about romantic love. But of course there is a lot of other love, for family and friends for example. And then there is the love of poetry.

My true love was the pen.3

The quote above comes from the poem Portrait with pencil.

More love and poetry

If you want to learn how to express love in Arabic, I suggest that you read the blog post I wrote about Valentine's Day last year.

My very first blog post was about Arabic potry. I wrote it almost two years ago on World Poetry Day.

About dangerous love

Not all love relationships are healthy. There are people who abuse the one they love. Abuse can be both physical and mental.

If you are abusing someone, I hope you find the courage to seek help to stop. If you are a victim of abuse, I hope you find the strength to seek help in leaving the relationship.