Eyad Hakami is the new Prince of Poets, crowned at the end of the seventh edition of the Abu Dhabi TV program, The Prince of Poets, which ended in April.
The Saudi young man is originally from the port city of Jizan, in the southwestern region of the Arabian peninsula, on the border with Yemen, on the Red Sea coast. Since 2012, Eyad has published several collections of poems, including ‘Alā īqā‘ al-mā’ [On the rhythm of the water] in 2012, Zalla li-l-qasīda sadan li-l-jasad [Poetry remains an echo in the body] in 2014, and 100 Qasīda li-ummī [One hundred poems to my mother] in 2015.
In 2012, the Prince of Poets also won the Okaz Youth Poet Award, one of the twelve prizes awarded by Souk Okaz, which, in addition to being one of the most important tourist sites of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, each year gives awards to the best cultural, educational and creative talents.
Below the translation of the poem recited during the last episode of The Prince of Poets.
According to the interpretation given by the show’s judges, the short poetic text describes the moment of transition from the phase of innocence to that of knowledge, the transition from nature to civilization. Referring to the four natural elements (earth, water, fire and air), the poet describes life since its creation with the first man, Adam, to its end: the death of love.
Survivors of their reflections
When Adam recited his names,1
We were nothing but a handful of innocence.
The heavenly blood had no color,
Before darkness wounded the sky.
The heart of dust throbbed like a river,
Our fire did not know how to extinguish the waters.
The face of Life was a child
And the light of God used to protect both song and weeping.
But death descended upon the trees of the spirit,
Throwing its nakedness on the shadows.
Perhaps in living there lied a possibility,
For the one who was distant and had known its roughness for a long time.
Love wanted us, before it was born in us:
And now that it has died, we have to want it.
From the sixth Edition (2015) of the Prince of Poets
Haydar al-'Abdullāh is the youngest amateur poet to have won the title of Prince of Poets: in 2015, when he was just twenty-five years old, he won the sixth edition of the famous Arabic cultural talent show aired on the Abu Dhabi TV channel. He had already got the Okaz Youth Poet Awards in 2013. Since then, he has published several collections of poems, including the most recent Ramla taghsilu al-miyāh [Sand Washing the Water] in 2017.
Below the translation of the ode presented in the final episode of the Prince of Poets. A reflection on poetry that with a bit of irreverence we could define the Arabic version of Bocelli’s Vivo per lei [I live for her].
A kiss on the lips of poetry
Like a child yearns for his mother's breast,
So the word seduces you, inspiration hunts you down.
Your first poem already lies far away:
Overwhelmed by the effort, and by incessant search.
But if the desert has given you its spirit,
You will remain a prophet of metaphors, a mystical shepherd.
Abu Dhabi sends you its marble kiss and says:
“Come here, my fawn!2
With your heart wet of tears, yet sometimes thirsty,
With your transparent clothes, though well adorned.
Turn to your Layla and ask about passion:
Can somebody impose or forbid passion? »
I lifted my garment like Bilqīs3, walking
On the mile of the rocks, consciously unaware.
I kiss it like the sand kisses a mulberry,
I bathe it like water tired of running.
And behind it I continue my wandering toward eternity;
My poetry still has a long way to go.
Goodbye, Abu Dhabi! I will go because
I'm the flute and flutes play the goodbye 4
Min. 16.29 -20.00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fG9f5H8Ju8
Arabic Text: http://alqasidah.com/dish51.php?item=qobla3lafmqsidah
1 «And He taught Adam the names, all of them» (Qur’an 2,31).
2 In Arabic, Abu Dhabi literally means “father of gazelles”, thus the word pun.
3 Bilqīs is the name attributed by the Arab tradition to the Queen of Sheba, the protagonist of part of Surah 27 in the Qur’an. “It was said to her: ‘Enter the pavilion’. But when she saw it, she supposed it was a spreading water, and she bared her legs. [Thus Solomon] said: ‘It is a pavilion smoothed of crystal’. She said: ‘My Lord, indeed I have wronged myself, and I surrender with Solomon to God, the Lord of all Being’” (Q. 27,44).
4 In Arabic, the author plays with the words nay (“flute”) e na’y (separation, distance).