Al-Maghout is a great Syrian writer from the city of Salamieh , who expressed his thoughts bravely through his great plays and poems that touched the hearts of millions worldwide. His deep understanding of the social structure of Arabic society, and the complexity of human behaviour and psychology, made him unique in the world of literature. His thoughtful presentation of human nature and struggle for survival through his plays put him on a par with great writers like Hugo, Dostoyevsky, and Dickens. One of Al-Maghout's famous sayings states, "There is only one perfect crime; to be born an Arab."
His works includes:
“Al-Hudoud”, or ''The Borders," about a man who loses his passport and becomes trapped between countries in a satire of Arab disunity.
Among his famous works are:
Sorrow Under Moon Light (Poem 1959-1960)
A Room with Millions Walls (Poem 1964)
The Hunchbacked Bird (Drama in 1974)
Tishreen's Village (Play 1973-1974)
Emigration (Play 1976)
Stories of the Night (Drama series)
The Borders (Film)
The Report (Film)
Happiness is not my Profession (1970)
The Swing- 1974The Flower Slayer-(2001).
Article by the Al-Ahram
Poems from (When the Words Burn: An Anthology of Modern Arabic Poetry: 1945-1987 , ed. M. Asfour):
| The Postman's Fear
send me all you've seen
of horror and weeping and boredom--
Fisherman on every shore, send all you know
of empty nets and whirling seas--
Peasants in every land,
send me all you have
of flowers and old rags,
of torn breasts,
and wrenched-out fingernails.
Send them to my address
in any cafe on any street in the world:
I am preparing a huge portfolio
on human suffering
to present to God
as soon as it is signed by the lips of the hungry
and the eyelids of the waiting.
But oh, you miserable ones everywhere,
I have a fear
that God may be 'illiterate.'
| The Orphan
Oh, the dream ...
My glittering carriage smashed,
all of its wheels scattered like gypsies
to the world's end!
I dreamt of spring one night
and when I awoke
my pillow was heaped with flowers.
I dreamt of the sea once
and in the morning
my bed was filled with fish fins and seashells.
But when I dreamt of freedom,
spears encircled my neck
like the morning's halo.
You will never find me again
in the port or awaiting trains ...
You will find me up
in public libraries
sleeping on the maps of Europe
the sleep of the orphan on the sidewalk,
where my mouth spans more than one river
and my tears flow from one continent to the next.