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Yearning for Baḳlīt
Composed by ʿAlī ʿAwaź al-Jidḥī and recited by his son, ʿAwaź bir ʿAlī Awaź al-Jidḥī. Recorded by Sam Liebhaber at ʿAwaź bir ʿAli ʿAwaź’s home in Qishn, January 2004.
This poem receives close syntactic and thematic analysis in Liebhaber, 2011a: 32-40.
Poem Translation 1) hey bīš emdīt // akkaws ḏ-aġrīr Welcome to you, Sea breeze // the gentle wind that comes from the southwest 2) nekśīt fwōd // w-šīs henśīr It stirs my heart // and with it, I am glad 3) w-śelṯ eyōm // lī wet fwīr By the third day // it has begun to seethe in me 4) w-ḳalbəlōb // ymōh šeǧhīr And today all the sensations in my heart // became even more frantic 5) hes śēnem aġawṭ // wel śī šebrīr After they saw the distance // and that nothing will come easily. 6) hes rōrem aḫarf // ḥyēs we-mśīr Like the sea during the monsoon // with big waves and dangerous currents 7) tebhōt rebnē // we-lyēḏ yeśwīr It conceals its intentions from the ship captains // and those who know it well 8) w-ṣawdeh lawḥ // w-lew mhōśīr And breaks up the planks // even if the boat is newly built. 9) w-bōlī melk // leǧīd yenhīr Those who earn their living [from the sea?] // head toward its bounty [themselves] 10) yherdūd bineh // hel heh mhōṯīr He always returns to work at it // in the very place where he was accustomed to doing so. 11) yhōkī ḥmō // w-tēh yhedwīr He alters the course of the water channels // and turns it back to fertile soil 12) w-sēr ewlē // kel yeǧterīr Behind the profit and gain // they are hard at work. 13) we-ḏ-heh menbēr // el šeh meḫyīr But the one who is outside // he is left without a choice 14) w-lew ḳdōm heh / lyēḏ ḏ-yaġīr Even if they offered him [help] // those who are envious, 15) ynaḳśem ḫaṭ // w-yeḳtərīr And wrote a letter [for the poet’s sake] // and settled on it together, 16) yḳōlebh kel // ḥar eźhīr They would pile everything // atop [the poet’s] back. 17) reytī ehmūm // lesbeḳ eṭyīr If only I were able // to arrive before the bird! 18) lāḳā ṣawḳer // men wet frīr Or that I were a falcon // and so whenever it takes off 19) lehenfeḳ aźawt // we-leṭāf kdīr And goes beyond Wadi Aźawt // and circles the plateau at Kdīr 20) w-źam ḏ-wedḥ // wet heh meṣbīr To where the wādīs meet at Wadḥ // after descending from the heights 21) hel hēm yeḥlōl // we-yheḏkīr And the place where her people live // and are well remembered. 22) w-enḳad beḳlīt // hāwēl ḏe-dyīr I’ll chose that of Baḳlīt // whose settlement was the first [I visited] 23) tezhōd ḏe-šwōb // ḥebbōr taġtīr Her response is always pleasant // from the very moment she begins to speak 24) w-naṭḳ ykūn // hṯ̣eyr teḳdīr And her conversation // is always right on the mark. 25) w-zeynes hnīs // erēġeb nwīr Her beauty goes with her // a bough that gives off light 26) śeǧrēt ḏ-mešmūm // w-ʾūd el-ksīr A fragrant tree // a branch of the magic ksīr-plant 27) aw ǧīd menśēr // men fenn ḥrīr Wearing new clothes // of the silky type. 28) awle rwāḳāt // wet āymel ḥǧīr Or like dark rain clouds // that produce rain without storms 29) yerḥōm arūź // w-lew ḏe-hwīr And drench the gardens // once stricken by drought. 30) w-ḳā bādeh // yehṣawbeḥ nwīr The land afterwards // is colored with flowers 31) ḫā hōh mḥārīṯ // wlē mhāfīr Like irrigated land // or furrowed earth 32) wle men aġeyl // w-ātōm essīr Or next to a stream // that flows in its channel. 33) hābū swē lā // wet hēm debbīr People are not always on the same footing // when they deal with each other. 34) bāź men hwē // ber lēd yeḥsīr Some people who were spoiled // will never hold anything back 35) yeblīġ ādīd // tōlū šǧīr He’ll pay any price // even if it causes him trouble. 36) w-hēd leǧwōd // tōlū šeḳmīr Another person raised on virtue // if he can’t compete [with the former], 37) we-ttīn ḏ-ǧawf // w-ber aġyīr A feeling [hidden] in his chest, // it alters him. 38) wet źeybet ǧsēd // we-ḏ-heh mesrīr It takes over his body // that which is hidden [inside him] 39) we-lḥāḳ menźōf // w-hel fḏīr And clings to his organs // and “the heart and the liver.” 40) ār ḳalbī ḫeh // lad šī teġṭīr But O, my heart, give it up // and stop talking to me, 41) we-kmēt meśkē // brek eṣdīr Conceal your complaints // inside my chest. 42) hēt ār ḏe-ḥwelk // kel śī mhābīr You know [the situation] well // since everything is clear: 43) ʾanūf mḳeym // w-ber ḥyīr The property owner has refused you // and forbids it. 44) ywōzem anšē // ʾār keḏ yeśwīr Some people can draw out their patience // those who know how, 45) tē bōlī ṣnāt // w-šī leftəkīr Or perhaps the craftsmen // will deliberate 46) yemdūd hīrōb // w-kel yūśīr Measuring out the rudder // they will all build a boat atop it.
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