Badr Shakir al-Sayyab
Biography of Badr Shakir al-Sayyab
Badr Shakir al Sayyab (Arabic: بدر شاكر السياب) (December 24, 1926–1964) is an Iraqi and Arab poet, born in Jekor, a town south of Basra in Iraq. The eldest child of a date grower and shepherd. He graduated from the Higher teachers training college of Baghdad in 1948. Badr Shakir was dismissed from his teaching post for being a member of the Iraqi communist party.
Badr Shakir al-Sayyab was one of the greatest poets in Arabic literature, whose experiments helped to change the course of modern Arabic poetry. At the end of the 1940s he launched, with Nazik al-Mala'ika,and shortly followed by Abdulwahab albayati and Shathel Taqa, the free verse movement and gave it credibility with the many fine poems he published in the fifties. These included the famous "Rain Song," which was instrumental in drawing attention to the use of myth in poetry. He revolutionized all the elements of the poem and wrote highly involved political and social poetry, along with many personal poems. The Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish was greatly impressed and influenced by the poetry of Badr Shakir al-Sayyab.
The publication of his third volume, Song of Rain, in 1960 was one of the most significant events in contemporary Arabic poetry. He started his career as a Marxist, but reverted to mainstream nationalism without ever becoming fanatical. While still in his thirties, he was struck by a degenerative nervous disorder and died in poverty. He produced seven collections of poetry and several translations, which include the poetry of Louis Aragon, Nazim Hikmet, and Edith Sitwell, who, with T. S. Eliot, had a profound influence on him.
Badr went to England for the first time in Autumn of 1962, at a time when his health was deteriorating. He attended Durham University for translation studies.
Badr Shakir al-Sayyab Poems
The River And The Death
Buwaib , Oh Buwaib , Bells of a lighthouse lost at the bottom of the sea , Water is in the pots , and the sunset in the trees , The pots ooze bells of rain ,
Your eyes are two palm tree forests in early light, Or two balconies from which the moonlight recedes When they smile, your eyes, the vines put forth their leaves, And lights dance . . . like moons in a river
The Wilt Of Rosebay's Flowers
The malignant blasts have stung the rosebay. At once it becomes faded as if the wilted eye Its ruddiness was shining apparently across the river The river's waves reflect the rays as if they glimmer
For I Am A Stranger
For I am a stranger beloved Iraq
The Mother And The Lost Child
Please don't go down, the night… Dead people came along out of the daylight. Who does return the absent man to his home? If darkness encamps and there is not great delight.
City Of Sinbad
Hungry in the tomb without food, Naked in the snow without a cloak,
Return To Jaykur
I roamed the hills on the grey horse of a dream fled the outstretched vistas, fled the marketplace teeming with vendors,
The Genesis Of Job
Praise is to the Lord! However, the plague becomes extended. Praise to God! However, the pain becomes overwhelmed. Praise is to God! Some of calamities are a kind of nobility. Praise is to Lord! Some of catastrophic things are a type of generosity.
The Drowned Temple
Horses nigh and harbours wait the sunset Masts reflect rosy sunbeams blood alike! Lanterns glimmer behind shabby tavern widows The drink makes him as if an idol
Myths derived the death rattling moments… Previously were woven by tremble hand… They were related through dark abysmal period Two dead men sang its tune…
Day Has Gone
Day has gone. See. Its wick has died on a horizon glowing, fireless, and here you sit, waiting
Before The Gate Of The God
Cast out, the darkness, for asylum O you who guide the ants in the sand
A Strange Man Nearby The Gulf
The simoom puffs its heat on the midday until late afternoon. The hot wind blows gustily either lets the sails folded or outspread. The gulf is overcrowded with toiling seamen. They rove through the sea to gain their daily bread.
An Ode To Revolutionary Iraq
The agent of Qasim open fire upon the spring, But all the illicit wealth they have amassed
Myths derived the death rattling moments…
Previously were woven by tremble hand…
They were related through dark abysmal period
Two dead men sang its tune…
Myths as if desert covered with mirage
And remaining of shooting star glimpses there…
Throwing its light, I see my way
It has crossing point with the shadow of a loaf of bread…
There you had glanced to me behind your muddy furnace…