Elia Abu Madi
Biography of Elia Abu Madi
Elia Abu Madi (also known as Elia D. Madey; Arabic: إيليا أبو ماضي Īlyā Abū Māḍī [note 1]) (1889 or 1890 – 23 November 1957) was a Lebanese-American poet.
Abu Madi was born in the village of Al-Muhaydithah, now part of Bikfaya, Lebanon, in 1889 or 1890. At the age of 11 he moved to Alexandria, Egypt where he worked with his uncle.
In 1911, Elia Abu Madi published his first collection of poems, Tazkar al-Madi. That same year he left Egypt for the United States, where he settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1916 he moved to New York and began a career in journalism. In New York Abu Madi met and worked with a number of Arab-American poets including Khalil Gibran. He married the daughter of Najib Diyab, editor of the Arabic-language magazine Mirat al-Gharb, and became the chief editor of that publication in 1918. His second poetry collection, Diwan Iliya Abu Madi, was published in New York in 1919; his third and most important collection, Al-Jadawil ("The Streams"), appeared in 1927. His other books were Al-Khama'il (1940) and Tibr wa Turab (posthumous, 1960).
In 1929 Abu Madi founded his own periodical, Al-Samir, in Brooklyn. It began as a monthly but after a few years appeared five times a week.
His poems are very well known among Arabs; journalist Gregory Orfalea wrote that "his poetry is as commonplace and memorized in the Arab world as that of Robert Frost is in ours."[note 2]
he died in 1957.
Elia Abu Madi Poems
I Do Not Know
l came ,l don't know from where or how l came to be l am, or why l came ?l don't know! l saw a path in front of me l began to walk,l must keep on walking willingly or unwillingly ,whether l agree or not. How did l came to be? How did l sighted my way? l can't perceive the matter ,l don't know! Am l new or am l old in this existence ?
At one time, Mr. Clay forgot that he was no more than mud So, he walked insolently, bragged and boasted. Body covered with fine silk, He glorified himself in a self-admiring manner,
The Little Rock
As it shrouded the White City, The star-studded Night heard a groan
He said: Lo, the sky is somber, and frowned. I said: Smile just the same! Enough frowns in the sky He said: Youth has left me and fled; I said: Smile! Sorrow will never bring back your vanished youth
O you who complain without an illness how will you do if you become really ill? that who is the worst on earth is that who look for leaving before it is the time
The Baby And The Old Man
Here I am O' my staring country home Look… do you remember who I am? Could you glance into the far past? Of a young boy naïve, careless. Cheerful, always happy on the farm,
Egypt And Syria
You were patience but O` it does not have a benefit after you, Had it been beneficial, which other soul would need to be patience. Weeping as for men is abhorred, Except that, abstainess from it in your case is ingratitude.
The Clay (Excerpt Ii)
Nay! It is rather a pathway for the soft breeze It is a source of water for the birds to drink. It belongs to the luminaries To bathe in its cool water, in the summer nights.
The enemy's war ship enclosed them in such way, That you would think they were surrounded by a friend. The blaze and smoke of their firing filled space, Until it covered it to the extent that the day did not appear like the day.
At one time, Mr. Clay forgot that he was no more than mud
So, he walked insolently, bragged and boasted.
Body covered with fine silk,
He glorified himself in a self-admiring manner,
Purse full, he became haughty and rebellious!
Brother, turn not your face away from me;
I am not a charcoal, nor are you a bright star.
You did not make the silk you are wearing,
Nor the jewels with which you adorn yourself.