When Melodies Gather: Oral Art of the Mahra

Fuṣḥā Mahri: A Short Lyric Poem

Ḥājj Dākōn described the following lines as a good exemple of fuṣḥā (“eloquent”) Mahri due to the fact that they utilize time-specific and trade-specific vocabulary and hew closely to the typical formulae of Mahri poetics and their conventional sequencing. This lyric poem (to which these lines are merely the introduction) was composed by a bedouin from the Ḥrēzī tribe and, according to Ḥājj, is very old. I have no recording available of these lines in actual performance.

For a more detailed analysis of fuṣḥā Mahri and these poetic lines in particular, see Liebhaber, 2010b.
1) ǧawneš ḥell // ġmīźmġābThe evening has arrived, // O Sunset, O Dusk
2) hōlā medd // ṭayr eḳā we-sḥābThe shadows spread over the land // and flow across [it]
3) w-kūrīt w-āǧēb // zawl w-tɛ̄bDesire and passion // bring restlessness and pain
4) yɛ̄mīl be-ryē // we-fwōd śewġābCausing unrest // in the lungs and heart
5) wēġī līs // we-ġṣīṣ w-āḳābA flock of birds over her, fish and birds in a feeding frenzy, // the seagulls that follow [i.e., she is relentlessly pursued by many suitors]

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