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The Silk Road Anthology | Nano Poems for Africa

Nano Poems for Africa is the new 2023 Anthology of the Silk Road Literature Series

Nano is a combining form with the meaning ‘very small or minute’ so nano-poems means very short poems

Edited by Ashraf Aboul-Yazid


Nano-Poems-Africa-Sindh-Courier-1Nano is a combining form with the meaning “very small or minute,” used in the formation of compound words; so (nano-poems) means very short poems.

Short poems have been written in different forms, under the umbrella of varied names. For example, the haiku is a Japanese poetic form that consists of three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third. The haiku developed from the hokku, the opening three lines of a longer poem known as a tanka. The haiku became a separate form of poetry in the 17th century.

Nano-Poems-Africa-Sindh-Courier-2Some of the most famous short poems in history are written with quatrains, or four-line groupings.  Omar Khayyám’s quatrains are the well-known example of this form, reminding us with the title that Edward FitzGerald gave to his 1859 translation from Persian to English of a selection of quatrains attributed to Omar Khayyam.

After publishing my call to join this anthology theme, I was introduced to a new short form of poems, exactly in two-line verses, created by Malian poet, philosopher and historian Ismaël Diadié Haïdara who called it “Tebrae”. Spanish poet and critic wrote: “If the five-line tanka have their poet in Takuboku, the four-line quartets in Khayyam, their great creator, and the three-line haikus in Bashô, their most representative poet, then we can say without exaggeration that the tebrae, two-line poems, the most brief so far, have their creator in Ismael, he gives us a new genre in short poetry whose roots are the songs of the African women of the Sahara”.

Nano-Poems-Africa-Sindh-Courier-3“Nano Poems for Africa”, is the new 2023 Anthology of the Silk Road Literature Series, poems which bring the five senses; with the poetic vocabulary of Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, and Touch, are the best choice. This enabled us to include the works of more than 150 participants.

The previous themes of the Anthology Editions were “Asia Sings”, “Mediterranean Waves”, Ancient Egyptians, Modern Poets”, and “Arabian Nights, World Poems”. The Anthology has been seeking bridging ideas and creative people. This project will be a part of World Poetry Movement -Egypt activities.

Being a member of PAWA (Pan-African Writers Association) the chance will be given to follow the multi-language submission of poems and poets’ biographies. In the previous edition of the Silk Road Anthology there were more than 20 languages chosen by 155 poets from 40 countries, and this is also the case here. This is a word of gratitude for those who joined us, sending their poems for Africa.

I am publishing the digital copy to for free to read in this link

There is a link for each poet to read his / her poems and full biography in the AsiaN (

I have also uploaded the same PDF copy that all participants and readers could download for free (for a week starting Today 13.02.2023):

A hard copy will be published next month with full index, via a publishing house in Cairo to be sent on demand.


Nano-Poems-Africa-Sindh-Courier-5Ashraf Aboul-Yazid is an award-winner eminent poet, journalist, translator, novelist of Egypt. He is author of over three dozen books and Editor-In-Chief of Silk Road Literature Series. 


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