Al-Sayyab gave quantum leap to Arabic poetry – critics

KUWAIT, March 28 (KUNA) — Two Arab literary critics agreed Monday that the late Iraqi poet Bader Shaker Al-Sayyab (1926-1964) left revolutionary impacts on the modern Arabic poetry.
In their addresses to a symposium in memory of Al-Sayyab, Dr. Nesma Al-Ghaith, professor of Abbasid poetry at Kuwait University, and Dr. Ahmad Al-Hreishi, a Moroccan scholar, spoke highly of the rich legacy of the great poet.
The symposium, titled “small candles around great poet’s collection,” is the first of three such events being organized during the ninth session of the Spring of Arabic Poetry Festival.
The festival is organized by Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain Cultural Foundation at the theater of Al-Babtain Central Library between March 27 and 29 under the auspices of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
Dr. Al-Ghaith cited ‘Onshudat Al-Matar’ (Rain Song) as an example of Al-Sayyab’s innovative approach to poetry that won great critical acclaim and instigated a lot of commentaries around the Arab world.
“Al-Sayyab excelled himself with this poem which acted as a catalyst for Arabic modern poetry later on,” she added.
On his part, Dr. Al-Hreishi offered a comparative presentation on “Al-Sayyab’s innovative approach between aesthetic and ideology” where he said that the late Iraqi poet introduced profound changes to the form and content of Arabic poem.
Dr. Al-Hreishi dealt with the structural, metaphorical, symbolical, connotative and ideological aspects of Al-Sayyab’s works, noting that the poet started as a Marxist, which drew public disapproval, before converting to the mainstream nationalism.
The symposium, moderated by Hoda Ashkinani, gathered poets from across the Arab world, including Ahmad Mubarak and Sa’id Shawareb – Egypt, Raga’s Al-Qahtani, Nada Al-Ahmad and Ali Al-Mutairi – Kuwait, Qais Qarqazeh – Jordan, and Mohammad Al-Breiki – the UAE. (end)