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September 28, 2011 / trash

Abū al-Qāsim al-Shābī

Abū al-Qāsim al-Shābī ( أبو القاسم الشابي )  b.1909-d.1934

An outstanding contributor to the ‘Apollo Society’ outside of Egypt. Unfortunately, the talented Tunisian poet died at a very young age of heart disease  before he was able to publish his single volume of works, ‘Songs of Life’ (Aghānī ‘l ḥayāh). Where al-Shābī fell short in quantity he made up in quality, his works are known to be the climax in the romantic poetry of the Arab world. Major themes in his poetry revolved around nature, existence, human suffering in life, his questions about death, and most importantly, rebirth and redemption after life and death. This final theme is prevalent in his poetry as his medical condition became especially severe. Poems such as ‘Sad Evening’ and ‘In the Gloom’ were followed by ‘New Morning’. It is in this transition that we see al-Shābī overcoming the fear of death and truly embracing the idea of victory and renewal that comes after.

From behind the clouds and the surge of the waters

I am called by the Morning and the Spring of life…

Farewell! Farewell! Oh mountains of trouble.

Oh mists of grief. Oh valleys of hell.

– Abū al-Qāsim al-Shābī, Aghānī ‘l-ḥayāh, ‘ al-Ṣabāḥ al-jadīd

September 28, 2011 / trash

Ilyās Abū Shabakah

Ilyās Abū Shabakah (إلياس أبو شبكة) b.1903-d.1947

September 28, 2011 / trash

‘Alī Maḥmūd Ṭāhā

‘Alī Maḥmūd Ṭāhā (علي محمود طاحى)


September 28, 2011 / trash

Ibrāhīm Nāgī (Najī)

Ibrāhīm Nāgī (Najī) (إبرهيم ناجي) b.1898-d.1953

September 27, 2011 / trash

Aḥmad Zakī Abū Shādī

Aḥmad Zakī Abū Shādī (أحمد زكي أبو شادي)


Twenty-five years have passed away, and still the flame of my love  leaps and flickers.

I still remain the maddened youth, with pounding heart.

Memories of love and its frenzied visions parade before me sleeping and awake.

She is part of me, so how can I forsake her? Oh welcome to imagination, by which I hold and touch.

-Aḥmad Zakī Abū Shādī

September 27, 2011 / trash

Īlyā abū Māḍī

Īlyā abū Māḍī (إيليا أبو ماضي)


The most influential , yet single (translated) piece, I have found written by Mādī is the following. I am still waiting a on a good picture worthy of the poet.

If he laments, the spirits are in his tears; if he
sings, love is in his strains.

He weeps with the exiled for his homeland; he joins
the grief-stricken in his tears…

He is the one who lives for others, while those who
misunderstand think he lives for himself.

-Ilyā ābu Mādī, The Poet (الشاعر)

September 27, 2011 / trash

Mīkhā’īl Nu ‘aymah

Mīkhā’īl Nu ‘aymah (ميخائيل نعيمة) b.1889-d.1988