HUDA ALDAGHFAG (Saudi Arabia, 1967)
Let your latticed shades relax,
And flow on, you tender trees
Drown out the pavement,
Your outpouring will sniff off the suns burner.
But my eyes will light up as lamps,
Their joy is in your soft whispers that
dances in nights tranquility.
One branch only
Crying, crying, crying,
Its tears becoming a wood.
The leaf, green, calling me.
The leaf, when I call it, is yellow.
The green branch
Approaches, approaches the black face
of the earth,
Translation by Laith al-Husain and Patricia Alanah Byrne
Huda Aldaghfag was born in Saudi Arabia on October 4, 1967. Poet, narrator, journalist and teacher. He graduated in Language and Arabic literature from The University of Riyadh in 1990. She is a member of the international association of press and has been an activist in pro of women´s rights. She has participated in several congresses related to the issues of woman, journalism and liberty in her country and abroad. During 5 consecutive years she participated in the prestigious festival Al Ganadriyah of Arabia. She has also represented her country in poetical festivals in Bahrein, Omán, Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Switzerland. In 2004, she obtained the prize for the best poetic activity in Arabia. She has published the poetry books: La sombra hacia arriba, 1993; Nueva pasión, 2002; y El bosque de las mariposas, 2005. In her new collection, Lahfah jadihah (New eagerness), Beirut, 2002 Huda offers another testimony to the fact that poetic talent recognizes no gender distinctions. Huda outstands in the poetic prose, a form not always celebrated in a conservative cultural milieu as the one dominating here, but which is nonetheless widely practiced. The concerns articulated so beautifully in several pieces of the new collection are diverse, but one can discern some that can be expected from a female poet, such as the fight for more independence and freedom. Yet the poet succeeds in going beyond this typical concern by offering the reader nice flashes that illuminate areas of meaning dimmed by habit and routine. One such poem tackles a wekll-known statement in Arabic culture that says meaning is the poets belly (i.e. only the poet knows the real meaning of his poem). Entitled Meaning the poem plays on the pun created by the similarity in Arabic between the word for poet shair and the word for street shari. The poet begins by assigning meaning to the street (in the streets belly) rather than the poet, tricking the reader into misreading the word and discovering the real situation later.