Qabbani, Nizar (1923 - 1998)
Nizar Qabbani was a Syrian diplomat, publisher, lyricist and poet, and remains one of the most widely read, revered and beloved poets of the Arab world. He was one of the pioneers to switch from classical Arabic and include the terms from everyday colloquial dialect in his poetry, modifying the strict forms of Arabic poetry into a more fluid free verse. He was also a feminist, among the first to highlight the sexuality of women and the problems they face in a male dominated society, often writing from a woman's point of view.
Many of his songs have been performed and popularised by famous Arab singers/celebrities such as Fairuz, Umm Kulthoum and Mohammed Abdel Wahab. He has been translated into English, French and Spanish, as well as into less widely spoken languages like Persian and Nepali.
Today my entry is a response to his poem When I Love You.
When you love me
When you love me: love equals calm
a racing heart hushed in safe arms
and all need for language, shadows of words
given up, neither drumbeats heard
maybe a long, low, whispery riff
of silver anklets as they slip
off my feet onto the floor.
Somewhere, a distant radio
plays a well-known signature tune
the select raga* of late monsoon.
Within earshot too, a purring mobile,
as I burrow deeper into your smile.
When you love me: love equals home
remote and foreign are quietly made my own
in one instant, your presence, absence
the pivots of planets, and transcendence.
As the river wave leaps and the rain
falls in, so have I leaped and lain,
fallen into you, each drop and fall
every blending in and standing tall
memorable, and yet, mundane, routine.
When you love me, love means serene.
*In classical Indian music, raga is a strict melodic format, the performance of which is tied to a particular season and/or time of day.
Q is for Quitting, which I don't plan to do now that I have got this far. Also for Quieter, which it is going to be once the A-Z is over. Too Quiet and peaceful? Glad of the rest? Which one is you?
Posted for the A-Z Challenge 2015