Sunday, February 05, 2023 | Rajab 13, 1444 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

The National Anthem of the Empty Quarter

The following are translations of poems by the Omani poet Hilal Al Hajri (1968-) from his first collection titled: “Night Is Mine”, (Muscat: 2006):


The National Anthem of the Empty Quarter


O my homeland...


In your stars is my honor.


Swear I by sacrifice and long struggle


From the pride of peaks I extract my glory


From the deepest green my question


And I’ll sing resolve to the Yemenite sword


The nation drew with precious blood.


O heaven hear out the step of my south!


O stars


Lo the resolve of my north!


My free country ...


No traitor will I let approach you


I’ll drag the enemy with my moustache.


Is it death? We drank it like wine


And slaughtered it with the steeds of night.


We walked on blades barefoot


Around us tooted the arrows and swords.


No cloud of the day


We don’t spend


Under the rap of arrows.


O my homeland!


If I lived in you as a stranger


Then ask the sea what an exile of pearls is.


Lofty as a palm tree I wait for a dawn


That turns universe and the skies towards me


Firm like a tower I butt epoch


After epoch with my grandeur and majesty.


O my homeland....


Like dawn piercing darkness


Coming from empty absences


My steps the breath of the universe pursues


Before me melts the silence of sands.


O heavens


Hark! Hark! The melody of my essence.


O stars


Watch the day of my struggle!


This is All What I Have


Wipe your timid tears and pray for my absence.


The earth can’t afford my departure and arrival.


From here...


Between the color of sand and the rebellion of hills


From here...


History has flayed my body and skin


From here...


The cloud blazed on fingernail and eyetooth


From here...


Love exiled me and desire expelled me


From here...


The world shrank to my pride and youth


From here...


My childish age grew old on want


From here...


The universe flared up at my silence and doubt


From here...


Neither my exile grew old nor my poetry sheltered me.


So wipe your timid tears and pray for my absence.


I’m no revolutionary but, despite a thousand necks,


My step is hasty and voice rural


This is all that I have.


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