though today in class we learned that the first novelist is a female writer, I enjoyed reading this.

Beyond Highbrow - Robert Lindsay

Great question.

My usual answer to the first question is Daniel Defoe, and my typical answer to the second question is Moll Flanders (1722).

Defoe seems to be correct, though a better answer to #2 would be Robinson Crusoe, which predated by Moll Flanders by a whole three years (1719).

Interesting that about a century goes by between the end of Shakespearean drama, which one would have thought would have spurred something as great as the novel, until the first real novel. What happened in between. More plays, I think. Poetry, Milton, etc. Tons of religious nuttiness, lots of kings and queens, the usual early civilizationist grapplings.. The colonization of the Americas. Lots of stuff. But no novels. Funny, that.

Anyone who has an earlier English novelist or novel please speak up.

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Sonnet #2

Shall I speak up and to the world reveal?
The mystery of lost ages and years
Let everything out and break the box’s seal
For today I brave fire with no fears
It is our land the land they stole
Deceived thee with lies they soon believed
All of this land is their’s but still not all
We’re part of it and we’re still not deceived
Believe thine eyes and ears not one alone
The blood we bled ever since they came
Hear our widow’s and children moan
Call us terrorists. Then, it is the same
They lie eye to eye and lie face to face
And to believing them thou seem to race

Dawn has to come

I don’t know why
Things have changed
A feeling in my heart
Suddenly is not so vague
Overwhelmed everything else
Overcame what I tried
To deep inside hide

Like flowers with seasons change
Something in my heart does

I can spot a light
Down the tunnel
Spring will last
For ever it seems

Why don’t I believe in that?
And keep lying to myself all the time
As if I won’t live tomorrow
To see that it won’t

As if it’s a happy ending story!
Though it’s not

Rain drops visit every couple of winters
they fill the place with saulty water
And everytime this happens
I tell myself
Next time
It will taste better

Why am I trying to be optimistic?

When everytime I look outside my window
All I see is night
All I see is darkness

But that light
I spotted
Down the tunnel
Will always be there
to remind me
My yesterday was twilight
Today is dusk
But tomorrow’s
Dawn has to come

Sonnet # 1 ( my own sonnet )

A melody of love shall cast on us
Some spells and charms only men understand
I believe not this love can last, thus
Thou must rest, for I will not hold thy hand
Think not I will surrender or backdown
Thou mean so much to me and my poor heart
If I never return,I hope thou not frown,
For I know thee want us never apart
When I die, I wonder where will ye be?
Thou Must end thy life the second I end mine
Life will drown thee and force thee to flee
We’ll not be happy thou knowest we shall whine
Why ask for life when we can arise?
Why not live immortal in thine eyes?

There I am to be buried

Feelings I find myself incapable of understanding. An instant wish of flying. I want to run away and escape. I wish to go anywhere far from here. I can’t bear it. It’s killing me. Like disease, it’s taking control. I am no longer in charge. Eyes flip, hair drops and life ends. Where to go ? What to say ? What to tell those am going to live with? Lend me your house; lend me your ID? I need a place to stay in because mine was taken from me? Don’t ask me how because it just happened. Don’t ask me when because it was long time ago. Just give me your passport and lend me your ID. I promise I will take care of them, I promise I will never let them get lost and I will protect them with my own soul. I want to work here that’s all. ِAll I want to have is a better life why is that wrong ? After a long speech of wishes, a stranger replied: you will take care of my house and ID, aye? I answered impatiently, like a long lost boy who has just found his mom or a handicaped who stood again on his feet. At the top of my lungs I said : Yes, will you lend me yours? That strange voice said : If you are to keep mine from loss or keep it safe, you could have taken care of yours instead. Those words felt like gun shots that broke all the bones to my heart  and pushed me to the ground. The world spinned. I went back and sat beside my house waiting. If I  am not to live there, then there I am to be buried

No Night

The night has started

Just like any other night 

Yet something doesn’t feel right 

It’s the sky

The clouds are running so fast

Trying to hide

From what?


Something wrong is going to happen

That’s nature’s alarm!

But who is there to listen?

To notice?

The stars have disappeared! 

The sky has turned white

It looks like day time

No night

Things have flipped

Someone is going to die

The world is upside down

I must run

Must cuddle my pillow 

Tonight seems to be

The end 

ستي ام عطا – Em Ata, my grandmother.

Em Ata ,My grandmother, could neither write nor read. One day she asked for the newspaper to see how her people are doing. Tell her not to bother. They’re still where she left them. Tell her that the bargain is still going. But don’t forget to also tell her that there is improvement. We got a share of around 6 or 6 and a half percent of what is ours. They got Java and Haifa and we got Silybum and wild Daphne. However, we have a country guarded by a high martial ranked bird. The Swallow bird has his own economic vision  and security procedures. He disapproves violence and is entirely committed to the pact. He has a red carpet on which he stands and salutes others. He calls upon a summit that is held at The League of Arab States. Praise the pigeons’ tower and salute its kings of congeniality and brotherhood. Dear pigeons, our allies, our wounds’ healers, the reason of the warmth we feel, the brutal with our enemies and perfectly loving with us. I quote Toqan’s words, the brother of Fadwa and the son of the originals, “Rest and sit aside before we lose what is left of our country.”

Original text in Arabic.

Written by : The poet ” Tamim El Barghote ”

Translated by : Nour O. El Borno.