Sunday, February 05, 2023 | Rajab 13, 1444 H
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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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