May Ziadeh in MainGate Magazine, a short biography with titles of speeches she gave—and her poetry

My poet friend Hagop Kazazian sent me this article in a magazine from recent times:

End Note Comments by me: —I wonder what she said about Columbus discovering America in her first speech at this college; I’d mention him myself often mostly metaphorically…

—I believe her brother mentioned here died as a young child and was her only baby brother and sibling as told in her poem, “Lacrymosa” and not at the later time of her parents and Gibran.


(The year should be b. 1886)

— Excerpt from a poetic letter included in May’s book, Fleurs de Reve (1911) translated by me—and then a verse poem that suggests to me that her pet canary might’ve been named Mimi and was a cheerful companion either way:

I was reading and I laughed; my canary has stopped singing to look at me with an air of thinking: “Why is my great friend laughing like that?” Poor little one – I educated him well already, but for the instruction ma fisch.

I’m talking about my canary, as if everyone knows him. So, I have to introduce him. My little canary is golden yellow with silver highlights and a long white tail; he has cute little pink paws, graceful little all-black eyes, blacker than ebony and jet, and a pink beak with a brown dot of beauty I call “Mimi”. Needless to say, I love and spoil him. He is very sweet and even more of a pixie. I speak to him and he answers me…in canary.

Poor little one, sometimes I pity him because he does not know freedom; but he seems very happy!

So much the better! !

—by Miss May Ziadeh


*’ma fisch’—’There’s no more / Got nothing.’ (feesh, interjection, Egypt)

(a short excerpt from a verse poem May wrote with ‘characters;’ this last part stands on its own too):

And you, my beautiful friend

With the intoxicating smile?—

They call me ‘Mimi’

In the hours of delirium;

And they love my eyes

That point to the azure sky

And my voice….home-like,


Spring gave me to May

And I was born

Then I was ordained,

Now I am a priest.

Now my name is….

And my light wings carry me

Away from the Convent

to the foreign lands.

I love to see this

Laughing Nile

chaste, azure,

and I bathe my eyelashes,

my heart,

my golden forehead.

written by Miss May Ziadeh (1911)

words from a poem she wrote.

—This canary was described as golden-yellow (I wonder if the golden forehead in above poem refers to him, kind of fantasy-like. He probably also danced, I’d imagine. 😊🎊 )

—I have always felt human at the core and female, so am not suggesting I was this bird as joked with in a fun / philosophical past poem I’d written on the blog, but in any situation, I find him a great character as part of her life (and he was an artist too, with his songs.)

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