When Melodies Gather: Oral Art of the Mahra

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.
 
PoemTranslation
1) hey bīš emdīt // akkaws ḏ-aġrīrWelcome to you, Sea breeze // the gentle wind that comes from the southwest
2) nekśīt fwōd // w-šīs henśīrIt stirs my heart // and with it, I am glad
3) w-śelṯ eyōm // lī wet fwīrBy the third day // it has begun to seethe in me
4) w-ḳalbəlōb // ymōh šeǧhīrAnd today all the sensations in my heart // became even more frantic
5) hes śēnem aġawṭ // wel śī šebrīrAfter they saw the distance // and that nothing will come easily.
6) hes rōrem aḫarf // ḥyēs we-mśīrLike the sea during the monsoon // with big waves and dangerous currents
7) tebhōt rebnē // we-lyēḏ yeśwīrIt conceals its intentions from the ship captains // and those who know it well
8) w-ṣawdeh lawḥ // w-lew mhōśīrAnd breaks up the planks // even if the boat is newly built.
9) w-bōlī melk // leǧīd yenhīrThose who earn their living [from the sea?] // head toward its bounty [themselves]
10) yherdūd bineh // hel heh mhōṯīrHe always returns to work at it // in the very place where he was accustomed to doing so.
11) yhōkī ḥmō // w-tēh yhedwīrHe alters the course of the water channels // and turns it back to fertile soil
12) w-sēr ewlē // kel yeǧterīrBehind the profit and gain // they are hard at work.
13) we-ḏ-heh menbēr // el šeh meḫyīrBut the one who is outside // he is left without a choice
14) w-lew ḳdōm heh / lyēḏ ḏ-yaġīrEven if they offered him [help] // those who are envious,
15) ynaḳśem ḫaṭ // w-yeḳtərīrAnd wrote a letter [for the poet’s sake] // and settled on it together,
16) yḳōlebh kel // ḥar eźhīrThey would pile everything // atop [the poet’s] back.
17) reytī ehmūm // lesbeḳ eṭyīrIf only I were able // to arrive before the bird!
18) lāḳā ṣawḳer // men wet frīrOr that I were a falcon // and so whenever it takes off
19) lehenfeḳ aźawt // we-leṭāf kdīrAnd goes beyond Wadi Aźawt // and circles the plateau at Kdīr
20) w-źam ḏ-wedḥ // wet heh meṣbīrTo where the wādīs meet at Wadḥ // after descending from the heights
21) hel hēm yeḥlōl // we-yheḏkīrAnd the place where her people live // and are well remembered.
22) w-enḳad beḳlīt // hāwēl ḏe-dyīrI’ll chose that of Baḳlīt // whose settlement was the first [I visited]
23) tezhōd ḏe-šwōb // ḥebbōr taġtīrHer response is always pleasant // from the very moment she begins to speak
24) w-naṭḳ ykūn // hṯ̣eyr teḳdīrAnd her conversation // is always right on the mark.
25) w-zeynes hnīs // erēġeb nwīrHer beauty goes with her // a bough that gives off light
26) śeǧrēt ḏ-mešmūm // w-ʾūd el-ksīrA fragrant tree // a branch of the magic ksīr-plant
27) aw ǧīd menśēr // men fenn ḥrīrWearing new clothes // of the silky type.
28) awle rwāḳāt // wet āymel ḥǧīrOr like dark rain clouds // that produce rain without storms
29) yerḥōm arūź // w-lew ḏe-hwīrAnd drench the gardens // once stricken by drought.
30) w-ḳā bādeh // yehṣawbeḥ nwīrThe land afterwards // is colored with flowers
31) ḫā hōh mḥārīṯ // wlē mhāfīrLike irrigated land // or furrowed earth
32) wle men aġeyl // w-ātōm essīrOr next to a stream // that flows in its channel.
33) hābū swē lā // wet hēm debbīrPeople are not always on the same footing // when they deal with each other.
34) bāź men hwē // ber lēd yeḥsīrSome people who were spoiled // will never hold anything back
35) yeblīġ ādīd // tōlū šǧīrHe’ll pay any price // even if it causes him trouble.
36) w-hēd leǧwōd // tōlū šeḳmīrAnother person raised on virtue // if he can’t compete [with the former],
37) we-ttīn ḏ-ǧawf // w-ber aġyīrA feeling [hidden] in his chest, // it alters him.
38) wet źeybet ǧsēd // we-ḏ-heh mesrīrIt takes over his body // that which is hidden [inside him]
39) we-lḥāḳ menźōf // w-hel fḏīrAnd clings to his organs // and “the heart and the liver.”
40) ār ḳalbī ḫeh // lad šī teġṭīrBut O, my heart, give it up // and stop talking to me,
41) we-kmēt meśkē // brek eṣdīrConceal your complaints // inside my chest.
42) hēt ār ḏe-ḥwelk // kel  śī mhābīrYou know [the situation] well // since everything is clear:
43) ʾanūf mḳeym // w-ber ḥyīrThe property owner has refused you // and forbids it.
44) ywōzem anšē // ʾār keḏ yeśwīrSome people can draw out their patience // those who know how,
45) tē bōlī ṣnāt // w-šī leftəkīrOr perhaps the craftsmen // will deliberate
46) yemdūd hīrōb // w-kel yūśīrMeasuring out the rudder // they will all build a boat atop it.
 

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  1. Yearning for Baklit