KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - The Sudanese poet Teirab al-Sharief ’s short poems truly hold their place in the reader’s heart with their distinctive rhythms; coloured depictions and poetical qualities are employed.
“They celebrate the poet’s own soul, sweeping melodies of the features of annunciation with an attendant presence. Teirab is another example of the Lebanese poet, Adonis. They both have mutual characteristics of laconic diction, in other words, using words economically plus composing poems in short forms with intensive meanings” as the poems translator Alsir Khidir said in his book Modern Sudanese Poetry.
Teirab was born in Kutum of South Darfur. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Arts, University of Khartoum, 1969. He immigrated to the United States in 1980 where he obtained his MA and PhD in Arabic Literature from the University of Indiana. He joined the University of Minnesota (US) as a professor of Arabic for a year. In 1998 he moved to the American University in Cairo and then the American University in Bahrain.
Following are examples of Teirab’s poetry:
The Call of the Distance
I sail through the flame, burnt
And filled with the ancient glow.
My body is the year of angry corn.
The smoke and ashes predict
A time which would come like a flood
A moon which would surprise us
In the morning
Before the signal
Before bestowing upon us
Which would carry the features of annunciation
These are the roots
Assured that there is a lighted window
In the garden
And a friendly ear of corn
Glowing despite the darkness of the cavern.
The Contours of My Lover’s Face
The contours of your face in the morning
Remind me of my grief
Remind me of my wounds
I escape from them
Lest my grief return
Lest my wounds re-open…
The contours of your face before sunset
Remind me of the whinnying
The whinnying of hearts
That committed suicide
That opened their eyes
Killing themselves twice.
The contours of your face after sunset
Adorn my heart with dignity
For, when darkness come
You flood me with light
I am dazzled
And joy fills my heart.
A lyric for Julie Andrews
Roll me, O waterfall of the sweeping melody
Into the mold of the unknown
Cut through my soul
( doh … ray … me )
Deepening your rhythm into my emotion
Allow me to see a face of acceptance.
With the big nakedness, to you, comes my yearning.
Floats and sails on the dreamy waters
Hides its head, foists it
In the little chamber of grass.
The distance burns
And between the beginning and the end
The expanse is filled
With the body of superstition.
Dream of the Old Face
The sea’s waves are ripped open
Diffusing musk, ambergris
Scent and incense
Exhaling the fragrance of their origins
Like breakers in a gale
Washing away the immunity of the resident rust.
What have the wrestling waves?
But a voiceless reverberation?
But the tempest of whining?
Do these islands follow
The seagull’s trail when they migrate
And behold ships casting off
When the ages draw nearer to their funeral pyre
And when time burns.
I am coming with your winds
Which would blow in the end of the marsh
O moon of seasons
Sticking to a poisoned star
Carving, in the innermost of origins
An epic for the bank of arrival
You are the light and the last window.
The wind of curiosity
A lust for the death of the drowning seasons
In our bellies
And we sink in the sea of vision
May be we benefit from resistance.
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