December 2011 – Winter
Welcome to the 2011 volume of The Ghazal Page. We expect a total of six issues this year: the four quarterly issues, published on the equinoxes and solstices, and two special issues based on challenges.
Submissions of ghazals or related prose (reviews, criticism, theory, etc) are welcome. Text-only format is much prefered.
by Ibn Hamdees
Wake to your morning draught; let coffee’s dark wine
Look closely at the bitter orange sliced on this plate
What wonder — there blaze between us
— after Ibn Hamdees, 12th century Sicilian poet
David Jalajel has loosely translated the Arabic original, resulting more in an inspired variation.
Ibn Hamdees (1055 – 1133) was a Sicilian Arab poet. He was born in Noto, near Syracuse. He left Sicily in 1078/79, probably due to the encroachment of the Normans. He finally settled in Seville, where he enjoyed the patronage of the prince Al Mu`tamid, who was also a poet. After the prince’s death, Ibn Hamdees moved from one Mediterranean country to another until his death in Majorca in 1133. His works include over 6,000 verses, many of them devoted to his lost Sicily.