ثمّ اخْتُبِرْتَ فَلَمْ تَرْجعْ إلى أدَبِ
مُشتَقّةً من ذهابِ العقلِ لا الذّهَبِ
مُلَقَّبٌ بكَ مَا لُقّبْتَ وَيْكَ بهِ
يا أيّها اللّقَبُ المُلقَى على اللّقَبِ
When you traced your name, you were fatherless,
so you ventured forth, throwing out decorum —
on this day you were dubbed Golden*
after the flight from sense (not the substance of the same)
and named, woefully, for that which after you
was called — O name cast over name.
*The word for “gold” and “go” are the same in Arabic. Though the link is uncertain some propose it is because gold is a substance that passes from hand to hand — endless circulation.
Poem: untitled (traditionally referred to by its first line). unknown translator ( http://adamahmed.blogspot.com/2010/05/al-mutanabbi.html )
Image: Al-Mutanabbi by Khaled Al Saa’i
Abu at-Tayyib Ahmad al-Mutanabbi is a poet born in the Iraqi region during the Abbasid caliphate. He is a master of the Arabic language. In my opinion, he is more a craftsman than a philosopher, but he definitely does not lack intelligence or wit.
I chose this particular poem because it has a strong rhythm that hopefully non-Arabic speakers can perceive.
Below is a YouTube video of another Arabic poem set to music. Enjoy.