Abd al Wahhab Al-Bayati

(1926–1999 / Baghdad)

Abd al Wahhab Al-Bayati
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He was born in Baghdad, near the shrine of the 12th century Sufi Abdel Qadir al-Jilani. In this respect, al-Bayati is unique among his peers, most of whom share pastoral roots. A man of the city, he lived close to the political heartbeat most of his life—one of his friends, Ahmed Abdel-Moeti Hegazi, said urban centers of "hotels and institutions, cafés and airports" were actually his temporary residences.[2] London, Moscow, Madrid and Baghdad are all represented in his poetry. He attended Baghdad University, and became a teacher after graduating from Dar Al-Mu'allimin (the Teacher's College) in 1950, the same year that he released his first collection of poems, Mala'ika wa Shayatin... more »

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Best Poem of Abd al Wahhab Al-Bayati

Elegy To The Unborn City

A Vision of Baghdad
Buzzing with people and flies,
I was born in it, and
On its walls I learned exile and wandering,
Love and death and the isolation of poverty
In its underworld and at its gates.
In it my father taught me to navigate and to read:
The rivers, the fires, the clouds, and the mirage
He taught me to know sadness, rebellion, and perseverance
To sail, and to circle the houses of the saints of god,
Searching for the light and the warmth of a future spring
Which still lives at the bottom of the earth
And in the sea shells,
Awaiting the prophecy ...

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