Sunday, July 16, 2006

Shucks, We’re Talkin’ Corn!

I hear you; you’re all ears on this corny subject. Sounds cornish; just give me a hen and a slice of cornbread, why don’t you. Well, who unsanitarily saturated your Corn Flakes? I’m not going to bore you with a maze of corn poppin’, tidbit kernels of puns. Instead, I want to share the following stanza from the poem Verse, by Nizar Qabbani. (We encourage our Readers to post their opinion on why the Author refers to Arab children as “Corn ears”.)

"Arab children,
Corn ears of the future,
You will break our chains,
Kill the opium in our heads,
Kill the illusions.
Arab children,
Don't read about our suffocated generation,
We are a hopeless case.
We are as worthless as a water-melon rind.
Dont read about us,
Dont ape us,
Dont accept us,
Dont accept our ideas,
We are a nation of crooks and jugglers.
Arab children,
Spring rain,
Corn ears of the future,
You are the generation
That will overcome defeat."

The full poem can be read at Oldpoetry.

About the Author:

“Qabbani was a committed Arab nationalist and in recent years his poetry and other writings, including essays and journalism, had become more political. His writing also often fused themes of romantic and political despair. Qabbani's later poems included a strong strain of anti-authoritarianism. One couplet in particular -- "O Sultan, my master, if my clothes are ripped and torn it is because your dogs with claws are allowed to tear me" -- is sometimes quoted by Arabs as a kind of wry shorthand for their frustration with life under dictatorship.”

"Through a lifetime of writing, Qabbani made women his main theme and inspiration. He earned a reputation for daring with the publication in 1954 of his first volume of verse, "Childhood of a Breast," which broke with the conservative traditions of Arabic literature. But it was not until he resigned from the Syrian diplomatic service in 1966 that Qabbani reached full flower. After the Arab defeat in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, he founded the Nizar Qabbani publishing house in London, and his became a powerful and eloquent voice of lament for Arab causes." Cornell University Library

Final Thought:

It is unfortunate; that as of April 30, 1998 – society lost such a politically talented Poetic, Writer.

Best links about Nizar Qabbani:

Nizar Qabbani

1 comment:

Eastcoastdweller said...

Thank you for this window into a world the West so rarely sees.

It is sad that we in the West are fed a media diet of nothing but angry faces and blood running down the streets, in the very lands where civilization was born.

We are oblivious to the beauty and the genius that lives there.