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     Munir Mezyed Issues a Trilingual Version of Arabic Poetry

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    Abdul-Settar Abdul-Latif
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    Registration date : 2008-02-05

    PostSubject: Munir Mezyed Issues a Trilingual Version of Arabic Poetry   Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:54 am


    Forword

    This book is an anthology of Arabic Free Verse incorporating new selections of Arab poets of different generations and experiences, environments and countries. The poets are more than 180 in number all in all, each with one poem with exception of one or two to make the number of the poem reach 180 only. Some of the poets of the Anthology are of a very high credit whose oeuvre have been in circulation in languages other than Arabic, the Original. Some other poets, whom the readers of the world at large have no access to , for no reason but that of the language barrier, are very well read, appreciated and taken by their homeland readers and audiences. They are represented here regardless to what-not differences and contradictions, irrelevances and inconsistencies among Arabs; such differences and contradictions do extend to nearly many aspects but, fortunately enough not to the significance or the role of poetry. This is because Arabs, all Arabs, while they don't agree on anything else, as they do agree on one fact: they read poetry, they listen to poetry and they love poetry. However, these disagreements have an unlimited number of poets' voices gagged, curbed and neglected for multifarious reasons above which is the 'level line' of free expression that fluctuates, never up , but always down, ebbing and only not to flow once more, here and there! In this Anthology, those unlimited have got a voice, one poem each.

    The idea behind making out the whole Anthology as well as planning for the project and right away from its early stages to the collecting of the material in its source language and contacting Mr Marius Chelaru , the Romanian Translator, and giving me the honour of participating in this honorable feat that serves to boost this dialogue among peoples despite their differences in languages, religions etc…are mainly the responsibility and contribution and initiative of the hard-working man and brilliant poet Mr Munir Mezyed. However, it is left for the other English-Arabic translators mentioned below to choose the poems they like to have here included.

    This Anthology does not follow a chronological way in classifying poets into generations, as it is patterned in almost all anthologies of poetry. Neither does it categorize the poets in any form nor are their poems arranged alphabetically or thematically or even according to their related IDs (of countries) although we discussed this matter at the very beginning a lot. The poet Mr Munir Mezyed attempts to keep the poems as they are in the same order he chooses. I felt that he may aim at tracing the way he feels first about them, at documenting and recording his feelings and choices the way he finds these voices, all voices with no exception expressing him via their own. The Anthology, then it seems, follows a psychic method, the psyche of a poet when he loves, when he yearns for his lost paradise, when he rebels and smashes all taboos, when he weeps, sings or when he is religious or irreligious, a man in want of a loving woman's lap, a woman wanting man to share the cup of ecstasy, when feels the world as a tree or a wave or dewdrop or a poem neighing like a horse or words flying like pigeons or flocks of sheep fleeing away once he utters them, when he starts with Iraq and ends in craving for Phalestine. This is an orchestra mastered by a poet with a magic wand in hand. He is the Yanni of the Modern Arab poetry. This is where this Anthology differs from other editions. It is the first of its kind!

    This Anthology is issued in a trilingual edition – Arabic, Romanian and English set together under one cover. The Arabic text is, of course, the source language. The Romanian translations of the poems are done via English by the Romanian Poet, Critic and Translator Mr Marius Chelaru, poem by poem , verse by verse, image by image. Here, in this step, in particular and in order to keep the sense and spirit of the poems translated indirectly to another language via not that of the source, Mr Munir works, side by side, with Mr. Marius in the Romanian Version as he reads every poem Mr Maruis translates to make sure the Romanian version gets the exact meaning and keeps the artistic image and soul. The English has been the work, if none referred to otherwise, of the Arab Poet, Novelist, Researcher and Translator, Mr Munir Mezyed. Moreover, there are other contributors as translators via the source language, Arabic into English. They are in an alphabetical order: Mrs. Betoul Ahmed, Eman Ahmed, Mr Hassan Hegazi, Mr Sami Khamu, Mrs Khulud Al-Mutaliby, Mr Samir Al-Shanawy in addition to the Editor, Prof. Al-Assady, who also shared in translating a number of poems. All names are from WATA.

    Since the Anthology is trilingual, it is printed though under one cover but in three separate parts; each part for a language. Each part includes the same number of poems the other two parts carry. Poems in each are numbered. Each poem carries the same number in the three versions. The Idea behind that is to facilitate things to readers who want to check or follow or entertain themselves with poems of other versions; so instead of making them go to the index or the contents page to look for names or poems' titles , we may make things easy, i.e, just to look for numbers of the poems , not pages .

    The Anthology offers this great number of Verse selections only as specimens of the Arab Free Verse Movement, the Movement which in 1947 radicalized the elements of the Arabic Qasida, smashed the rules of the Classical prosody that enchained poets more than one thousand years ago, and initiated a new track in Arab literature. Hence, it is quite proper to allude to the features of the Arab Ancient poetry, the significance of poetry in a Nomadic society and the status of the Ancient poet among his tribesmen as well as the etymology of the word 'Shi'ir' before we deal with the movement itself. And these items are the mainstreams of Introduction below.



    Prof. Abdul-Settar Abdul-Latif Al-Assady
    Dept of English/ College of Education
    University of Basarah/Iraq
    Email:ibnassad2005@yahoo.com
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