Mustafa Abu Sneineh

Mustafa Abu Sneineh is a poet from Jerusalem, Palestine. His first collection A Black Cloud at the End of the Line was published in Arabic in 2016. He holds a degree in Law from Birzeit University, and works as a journalist at the Middle East Eye.


Palestinian Poetry Showcase »

Showcase: putting translation under the spotlight

Sun 10 March | 13:00 - 14:00 | £4.50/£3.50 | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Council Chamber

Poetry in Exile - a Conversation »

Ghayath Almadhoun and Mustafa Abu Sneineh in conversation

Sun 10 March | 15:30 - 16:30 | £5.50/£4.50 | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium



It isn’t true, Emperor,
‘That what is not good for the swarm,
is not good for the bee.’
Permit me, a bee, to set right your meditations:
I no longer have a swarm to fly with
Nor wildflowers who understand my tongue.

The hive has crumbled under the boots of the barbarians.
Traitors betrayed it
and I’d have recited prayers for its courageous soul, if I knew any.

The time of bees is over, Emperor.
Let me fly on fractured wings to another abyss
I leave behind no honey, no wax,
and the flowers I alight on jabber in the barbarians’ language.

Leave me out of your meditations, for I am no good to anyone,
and it’s all the same whether the swarm returns or not,
it’s all the same.


Mustafa Abu Sneineh, tr. Katharine Halls

Originally published in Arabic in A Black Cloud at the End of the Line (Dar Al-Ahlia, 2016)