Thursday, 26 November 2009

HIGHLIGHT: Saharawi poetry

Saharawi poetry is a highly evolved and sophisticated artform. Poets are held in high esteem and confirm a culture that has been built on deeply rich oral traditions. Historically, and still in the present, poetry has been the primary vehicle for transmitting the culture, collective memories and values of the desert nomadic Saharawis. Their poetic tradition is expressed in both classical Arabic and Hassaniya, their spoken language, and covers a complex range of styles and genres to express themes such as landscape, love, battles, religious praise and more. Spanish colonialism and the elevated numbers of Saharawis who have studied in Cuba, since exile began, have given rise to new generations of Saharawis who opt for Spanish over Arabic to express themselves.
The following poems are an example of this culture. For more poetry, visit the website.

Chejdan Mahmud


I am one of those
two faced believers,
who fill up on whores
and eat in the name of God.
They gallop in the clouds
as if fed up of earth
and paint sirens
with the false smoke of eternity.
That?s it. As I say:
some cling
onto de belief that a devotee
is a walking poem.


Yo soy de aquellos creyentes
que tienen doble cara,
se sacian de las putas
y comen en nombre de Dios.
Galopan en las nubes
cuan hartos de la tierra
y pintan sirenas
con el humo falso de la eternidad.
Esto es todo. Ya lo digo:
hay alguien que se aferra
a creer que un fiel
es un poema andante.

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