Poetry is the journey of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away. Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance - Carl Sandburg..........Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one's soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject - John Keats .........Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge - William Wordsworth ..........Poets utter great and wise things which they do not themselves understand - Plato .........No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher. For poetry is the blossom and the fragrance of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language - Samuel Taylor Coleridge .........One demands two things of a poem. Firstly, it must be a well-made verbal object that does honor to the language in which it is written. Secondly, it must say something significant about a reality common to us all, but perceived from a unique perspective. What the poet says has never been said before, but, once he has said it, his readers recognize its validity for themselves - W. H. Auden ...........Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash - Leonard Cohen .........There is a pleasure in poetic pains which only poets know - William Cowper .........Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood -T. S. Eliot ..........Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason - Novalis...........He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life - George Sand .........A poem is never finished, only abandoned - Paul Valery ........A poet is a bird of unearthly excellence, who escapes from his celestial realm arrives in this world warbling. If we do not cherish him, he spreads his wings and flies back into his homeland - Kahlil Gibran.............Poetry should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance - John Keats..........To be a poet is a condition, not a profession - Robert Frost........A poem is true if it hangs together. Information points to something else. A poem points to nothing but itself - E. M. Forster.........Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo - Don Marquis...........Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things - T. S. Eliot ..........You can tear a poem apart to see what makes it tick. You're back with the mystery of having been moved by words. The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash or thunder in - Dylan Thomas .........Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words - Paul Engle......... There is not a joy the world can give like that it takes away! Lord Byron

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Abdul Wahab Al-Bayati

Abdul Wahab Al-Bayyaty

 

About Waddah of Yemen - Love and Death

Translate by Bassam k. Frangieh

 

1

From the cities of magic and the caves: Waddah arises,
Crowned by the moon of death and the fire of a shooting star,
Falling into the desert,
Carried like an orange nightingale
By the ogress with the caravans
To Syria.
A red feather
Is blown into the air by a magician
He wrote a charm on it
For the ladies of the cities of the wind
The words of the stones falling in the wells,
The dances of fire
Are blown into the chamber of the caliph
Becoming sometimes a poem,
Sometimes a virgin pearl
Falling at the feet of Waddah
Who carries it to bed,
A woman crying with desire
Making love with the night and the crazy light of the moon
Raving, singing, ending from where she did not begin,
Regaining
Rediscovering on the bed her virginity,
Ashamed of the night
And the crazy light of the moon
She opens her eyes on the ashes of the fire of a shooting star
Falling on the desert

And a red feather
Is blown into the air by the magician
Sometimes turning into a gazelle
With horns made of gold
Sometimes into a priestess practicing seduction
And the game of the end
In the harem of the caliph
His night is haunted by ghosts and boredom.

II

I did not find salvation in love, but I found God.

III

I kissed my mistress on the carpet of light
I sang a poem for her
I granted her the sun of Bukhara,
The fields of wheat in Iraq,
The Atlas moon and the spring in Arwad
I granted her the throne of Solomon,
The fire of the night in the desert,
And the gold of the waves in the seas
Upon her lips I printed my love
For all the beautiful women of the world,
And the kisses of the lovers
Within her I sowed
A child from the people
And from the dynasty of the phoenix.

IV

Where do these ghosts come from?
While you slept in her bed 0 Waddah,
Was it the windows of the palace?
Or perhaps the guardians of the walls
Did not close the doors?

V

In my sleep: I saw the river of death on your breast,
Forcing its current in the flesh of the silence
A hunting dog bites your breast
As the quail begin their migration
Following the orbit of human exile in the world and things
A face of a palace slave
Emerges from my eyes and from the mirror of this dawn
In my sleep I saw him kissing your breasts,
Lying naked over the bed of roses
Smiling for the future

VVI

Where are these ghosts from?
While you were sleeping in her bed, O Waddab
Perhaps it was the informer who relieved you
Perhaps it was the caliph who sent after you
The slave, the hunting dog, and the nightmare.

VVII

Before it came to be in the books,
In the novels and in the poems,
Othello already existed.
The scorpions of jealousy bit him, O Waddah! Before it
came to be in the books
Othello was a bloody killer,
But Desdemona
Will not die this time.
It is you who will die.
It is you.

VVIII

Othello in the turban of the caliph
Faces the masses
With his broken sword.

VX

I didn't find salvation in love, but I found God.

VX

I died on the carpet of love,
I didn't die by the sword.
I died inside a box, thrown in the well of night Suffocated,
my secret died with me
And my mistress, on her bed
Innocently caressing the cat, embroidering the moons In
the glacial darkness,
Reciting to the caliph
A tale about cities of magic and their buried treasures
And the morning surprises Desdemona.

________________________
 

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