Sunday, October 22, 2006

يا بنات إسكندرية

Several years ago I received the following stanza on a mailing group:

Phillip Slattery

Eyes made of the Egyptian night
Sparkling like an oasis pool
Skin the color of the endless sand
Beauty of forgotten goddesses lives on

I liked it much and I thought it is so descriptive and flirting! Later on the same day a girl from Alexandria sent to the group -- jokingly -- and requested that someone write something about Alexandrian girls. I thought this was tempting, and I wanted to have a shot and try to write something. And this is what I wrote...

Khaled Reda

Glistening water and sunny sun
Bronzy, silky, shiny skin
Blue black starry night
Make a majestic manhood
To royal eyes, plight

Almost around the same time these exchanges were taking place, maybe before or maybe after, I attended a training course arranged by work. Right in front of me on the other side of the room there was a pretty girl sitting. I didn't know her. Being what I am, I thought to forget about the course for few minutes and write something about her.. and this is what I wrote...

Eyes open wide
With the color of the deep sea
Smiling, like a morning dew
Healing the scars of the leaves

... I figured out later on that she was also from Alexandria.


Blogger Phil Slattery said...

My name is Phillip Slattery and I am honored that one of my short poems (only four lines) is remembered so long after I wrote it. Please feel free to quote it as much as you want. I happened across your blog entry while searching for other material I had written and is published on the Internet. You may be interested in knowing the story behind that poem.

In 1989, I was in the US Navy and spent seven weeks in Cairo attached to the US embassy. I was amazed by the beauty of Egyptian women. Probably while in Cairo or shortly after I returned to the US, I wrote that poem in probably five minutes and sent it to a singles magazine in St. Louis where it was published around 1990-91. That was the last time I saw the poem in print until now. It makes me feel good that such a short poem has touched enough people that it is being remembered and circulated 15 years after it was first published. Thanks for remembering me. -Phil

6:51 PM

Blogger Khaled said...

Phil, I'm really so glad that I have your comment on my blog. I'm very honoured! Besides, I love the story behind the poem. It makes me proud of Egyptian beauty that a non-Egyptian is writing this poem about it. This concise poem touched me much that I couldn't but comment on it with another poem to flirt with some Alexandrian beauty :)

Again thank you so much for honouring my blog with your comment and the story-behind-the-poem. -K.

2:02 PM

Anonymous Phil Slattery said...

In case you are interested, while cleaning out some old files over the last week I found more of the poems I wrote about Egypt and have posted them (along with other poems on a variety of subjects) on my website at They will be easy to spot: the titles all contain something specific about Egypt. As I run across more, I shall post them too.

5:41 AM

Blogger Charly said...

Great poetry from Phil, and I liked also how in between poems he explains the situation.

11:26 PM


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