Arabic Language Blog

Nizar Qabbani: The Tree Posted by on Jan 17, 2016 in Arabic Language, Culture, Pronunciation, Vocabulary

   Ahlan, Arabic lovers! In this post, I am presenting a beautiful love poem by the great Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani نزار قباني. The poem has the title of “The Tree الشجرة“. In the poem, Nizar urges his beloved not be fixed in one place like a tree. He urges her to be a living human being with all its changes as he loves her in all forms and at all times. I made the English translation for the poem and I hope you will enjoy it.



كونى اِمرأةً خطرة.. 

Be a dangerous woman

كىّ أتأكد – حين أضمك– 

In order to be sure – when I hug you –

أنكِ لستِ بقايا شجرة.. 

That you are not the remains of a tree

اِحكى شيئاً.. 

Tell me something

قولى شيئاً.. 

Say something

غنى. اِبكى. عيشى. موتي.

Sing. Cry. Live. Die.

كىّ لايروى يوماً عنى  

In order for me someday not to be told about

أنَّ حبيبة قلبى ..شجرة.. 

That my sweet heart is .. a tree

كونى السُّمَ .. وكونى الافعى 

Be the venom .. and be the snake

كونى السحر .. وكونى السحرة 

Be the magic .. and be the magicians

لِفى حولى.. 

Wrap yourself around me

لِفى حولى.. 

Wrap yourself around me

كىّ أتحسس دِفءَ الجلد ، وعطر البشرة.. 

For me to feel the warmth of the skin and the scent of the skin

كىّ أتأكد – يا سيدتى– 

For me to be sure – Mistress –

أنَّ فروعك ليست خشباً.. 

That your branches are not wood

أنَّ جذورك ليست حطباً.. 

That your roots are not wood

سِيلى عرقاً ..

Flow sweating

مُوتى غرقاً.. 

Die drowning

كىّ لا يُروى يوماً عنى ..

In order for me someday not to be told about

أني كنتُ أغازلُ شجرة.. 

That I was courting a tree

كونى فرساً .. يا سيدتى ..

Be a horse .. Mistress

كونى سيفاً يقطع.. 

Be a cutting sword

كونى قبراً.. 

Be a grave

كونى حتفاً.. 

Be death

كونى شفة ليست تشبع ..

Be an insatiable lip

كونى صيفاً افريقياً.. 

Be an African summer

كونى حقل بُهار يلذع.. 

Be a burning spices field

كونى الوجعَ الرائع .. إني 

Be the wonderful pain .. for I

أصبحُ رَبــّــاً ..إذْ أتوجع

Become a Lord .. when I ache

غنى. اِبكى. عيشى. موتى 

Sing. Cry. Live. Die.

كىّ لا يُروى يوماً عنى.. 

In order for me someday not to be told about

أني كنت أعانق شجرة.. 

That I was cuddling a tree

كونى اِمرأةً .. يا سيدتى.. 

Be a woman .. Mistress

تطحنُ فى نهديها الشُّهبا 

That crushes the shooting stars in her breasts

كونى رعداً 

Be thunder

كونى برقاً 

Be lightning

كونى رفضاً 

Be rejection

كونى غضباً 

Be anger

خلّى شعرك يسقط فوقى.. 

Let your hair falls upon me

ذهباً .. ذهباً 

(Like) Gold .. Gold

خلّى جِسمك فوق فراشى 

Let your body on my bed

يكتبُ شعراً.. 

Write poetry

يكتبُ أدبا.. 

Write literature

خلّى نهدك فوق سريرى 

Let your bosom on my bed

يحفرُ قبره 

Dig its grave

كونى بشراً .. يا سيدتى.. 

Be human .. Mistress

كونى الأرضَ ، وكونى الثمرة.. 

Be the soil and be the fruit

كىّ لا يُروى يوماً عنى .. 

In order for me someday not to be told about

أني كنت أضاجعُ .. شجرة

That I was sleeping with .. a tree


* More poems of Nizar Babbani on our Arabic Blog:


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Peace ســلام /Salam/

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About the Author: Fisal

Well, I was born near the city of Rasheed or Rosetta, Egypt. Yes, the city where the Rosetta Stone was discovered. It is a small city on the north of Egypt where the Nile meets the Mediterranean. I am a Teacher of EFL.


  1. Andy:

    Very nice. I think ‘Wrap yourself around me’ would work better than ‘Roll around me’ for لِفى حولى.

    • Fisal:

      @Andy Thanks Andy for passing by and for your note 🙂

  2. sana:

    My teacher, Bashar, was laughing his head off at that poem. thanks for the laugh!

    • Fisal:

      @sana Ahlan sana, You and your teacher are very welcome. We are happy to make you laugh 🙂

  3. Haley:

    The poem is excellent and intelligent, thank you for bringing this poet to my attention.

    • Fisal:

      @Haley Ahlan Haley,
      Thanks for passing by. It is always a pleasure 🙂

  4. Heinz Schulz:

    The tree is a beautiful poem.

    The presentation would be even more beautiful if there were no music. The music distorts the words.

    Only show a picture of a tree.

    The other pictures are a distraction to the imagination.

    Regards Heinz

    • Fisal:

      @Heinz Schulz Hi Heinz,
      We are happy that you like the poem. I know that background music can be disturbing but unfortunately, This was the only audio I found on YouTube for the poem! For a bigger font, you can control this from your browser 🙂