Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Sipping Memories: Poetic Journal to Morocco: Poems by Michal Mahgerefteh

Sipping Memories
Poetic Journal to Morocco
Poems by Michal Mahgerefteh
Poetica Publishing Co.
Copyright © 2011 by Michal Mahgerefteh
ISBN: 978-0-9836410-1-8
Softbound, 31 pages, $15

Review by Zvi A. Sesling

The opening welcome is provided by “a large woman flashes gold teeth/offers fresh round bread topped with pecan butter/walnut and pistachio cookies and hot green tea”

She takes you to the shuk in Rabat where “I stroll down narrow alleys/of mud covered pebble stones/faint must odor of carpets and urine/persists of the scent of fresh tangerines/stored in wood boxes/pushed by ragged men and worn-out donkey”

The way it is written you can see yourself there, or at least it will hark back one movie
or another one has seen that was filmed in this shuk in Rabat or another one.

This book, while poetic is also educational. There is a recipe for Moroccan tea, another for Couscous with Vegetables and a lesson on rosewater as a hydrating toner.

Her poetry takes you to Evening Prayer at Hassan II Mosque where:

I following the growing crowd
take off my boots walk under rounded arches
stepping down several feet on to a tiled floor
paved in blue

a group of women all in white
veils up to the bridge of their noses
sit on carpets adorned in blue-yellow vines
verses from the Quran

Ms. Mahgerefteh takes you on visit to the “Beggar on the Corner of Blvd de al Corniche” and “On the Road to Marrakesh.” At “The Sheep Market” you discover that “life hangs heavy over the women/inside fabric tens sweaty anchored/between large bags of raw wool/brought steaming after shearing/sorting colors in to piles/letting it fluff and dry before the endless/spinning and weaving”

You will also encounter “The Henna Artist” and “The Fabric Market” a Moroccon bride and you will hear “The Sounds of Morocco” from the school girls laughing to water sellers and cars, trucks, motorbikes and taxi cabs and, of course, Muezzin prayer calls.

If you are an adventurer or one who likes to read travel books, this poetry journey in
Morocco will fill the bill.

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