Friday, June 5, 2009

Change and Poetry

For the past three days, all I have been doing is spending more time to myself. I have been doing the one thing I am extremely good at in my life and enjoying it, yep, reading poetry :P.

So while searching I came across a quote by the famous Arab poet Mahnmoud Darwish:

"I thought poetry could change everything, could change history and could humanize ...but now I think that poetry changes only the poet."

That made me wonder, do poetry change anything in us when reading?
How long would the affect of a poem last?
If you become a poet one day, would you do whatever it takes to spread thoughts you believe in and reveal the hidden truth?

To me poetry is a way to the World's meaning, a way to change Society and possibly a way to escape modern materialism.

Great contemporary poets:

Ahmed Matar: is an Iraqi poet who have been living in exile for decades, most recently in London.

His poetry is very critical of corrupted rulers, lack of freedoms, the use of torture, clinging to power at all costs. He also laments the general situation of Arab societies.

In a very early stage of his life, he worked for Al Qabas Kuwaiti Newspaper along with the famous cartoonist Naji Al Ali. The latter, had worked to express his thoughts and his friend's thought in his drawings that made them many enemies. So they both got assassinated in London since 1986 (the year I was born in :p) to date.

Here's a short poem by Matar. It is a telegram to Safeyyudin Al Hilli صفي الدين الحلي (d. 750 A.H) who has written famed verses of pride centuries ago. He turns the verses around lamenting the current situation in Arab countries.

برقية عاجلة إلى صفي الدين الحلي
Urgent telegram to Safeyyudin Al Hilli
سلوا بيوت الغواني عن مخازينا و أستشهدوا الغرب هل خاب الرجا فينا
Ask the brothels on our shameful deeds, and ask the West if we are hopeless
سود صنائعنا بيض بيارقنا خضر موائدنا حمر ليالينا
Our doings are black, our banners are white, our dining tables are green, and our nights are red

The original verses read:

سـلي الـرماح الـعوالي عن معالينا واستشهدي البيض هل خاب الرجا فينا
Ask the high spears on our [high] traits, and ask the swords
بـيـض صـنائعنا سـود وقـائعنا خـضر مـرابعنا حـمر مـواضينا
Our deeds are white, our battles are black, our pastures are green and our swords are red.


Nadia said...

Poetry changes everyone. How can you read poetry and NOT be affected (at least for a few seconds?). I myself don't read a lot of poetry, but my favourite Arab poets are Abu Al Qasim Al Shabi, Elliah Abu Madhi, and Nizar Qabbani. I tend to head more towards positive poetry.

FAITH said...

Exactly, Nadia :).

I like Elliah the most amongst the names you mentioned. His poetry gives you a positive and bright perspective to see the entire world through..

The effect a certain poem leaves in your mind and soul explains its quality in my opinion.

Nadia said...

My favourite English poem is 'The Invitation' by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Have you read it?

It's simply written starting with 'It Doesn't Interest me...'

My other favourite poem is Desiderata

FAITH said...

Good taste Nadia :)
I like them both