Thursday, February 24, 2011

Two poems of the Libyan Revolution

A poem from western Libya in honour of the new revolution - in Berber, I think the Zuwara dialect - that sums it up nicely:
Taẓiḍərt af akud
D asirm g timalt n agdud
D xa yəṛwa ala yəffud!

Patience for the time
And hope for the future of the people
And he who is thirsty shall drink his fill!
(Note some linguistically interesting features: the use of d "and" to link clauses rather than noun phrases is a calque of Arabic wa- - in other Berber languages d normally only links noun phrases; and the future prefix xa derives from a shortening of yə-xsa "he wants", just as English "will" comes from a full verb that meant "to want".)

Poking around on YouTube reveals a fair number of very angry Arab poets' responses to Qaddafi, some from as far afield as Kuwait, but it took some looking for me to find one in Libyan dialect (contrast it to Saif's speech yesterday); here it is, "Poem for the free men of Libya:
ينصر الله الشعب في كل أوطانه
ويسخط الظالم و جميع عوانه
يكفي سنين تحت الظلام حزانا
اليوم نسقوكم من كاس المرار اللي زمان سقانا
زال الظلام وعدى اليوم زمانا

yənṣəṛ əḷḷāh əššaʕb f kəll 'awṭānah
u yasxaṭ əđ̣đ̣āləm u žmīʕ ʕwānah
yəkfī snīn taħt əđ̣đ̣ḷām ħazānā
əlyōm nəsgūkam mən kās əlmṛāṛ əlli zmān səgānā
zāl əđ̣đ̣aḷām u ʕaddā lyōm zmānā

God grant the people victory in all their lands
And cursed be the oppressor and all his helping hands...
Enough years in the dark have we already suffered thus
Now we serve you the cup of gall that you used to serve us
The darkness now has ended and our time has come at last
(Linguistic notes: the 2nd person masculine plural [kʌm] (and 3mpl [hʌm]) are characteristic - they were one of the features that struck me most in the speech of Western Desert Bedouins. The [g] for Classical /q/ is of course a pan-Arab feature of Bedouin dialects. I took some minor liberties with the translation to get it to rhyme.)


Mualim Haroon said...

Nice blog, I would be interested to chat about your route to Linguistics as it is a path I am looking at pursuing also.

Anonymous said...

Nice poetry :)

anisa said...

I know some Libyans here in USA since the 80's. Poetry cannot express the joy they feel.