Saturday, December 13, 2014
Warda Al Barbar, World Poet & Writer
Warda Al Barbar is the literary name of the Algerian poet and writer Warda Atroun. She is a 25 year old teacher of foreign languages at private schools in Oran. Warda writes in English, French and Arabic and has authored a poetry collection in Arabic called Lady between the sun and the moon (2013), edited and published by Al Adeeb Editions; it is being translated into English and French.
Describe where you live and where you find your passion for poetry...
I’d like to point out that my pen welcomes inspiration at any time and from wherever it may come.
The place where I live is cozy and very calm; I have a beautiful view of the sea and my neighborhood is surrounded by a very nice forest…but home is not the only place where I connect with imagination…I write at work during break time or in the street…my favorite time to write is at night in my living room and in summer I like to write in my garden while gazing at the moon and its reflection on the swimming pool.
Your poetry is lyrical and melodic. Do you have a favorite poem of your own creation?
Every poem I write is related to a special and deep feeling or it’s about an attachment to an impressive person or a description of a mysterious situation.
“Letter to my sister“ is a poem that gathered the three elements of writing I listed…the death of my sister, Lamia, was a shock to me; I wrote it with a blend of ink and tears. I wrote about this melancholic period in Arabic, too, so I remember I was reciting a poem about her to my family - then all of us shed tears and prayed for her to rest in peace and asked God to open the gates of paradise to her.
Letter to my sister
I sailed the sea of mourning,
forlorn but canopied
with your virtuous soul.
Upon crying waves
I dropped my remembrance
as an anchor, to abstain
between the eastern sun
and the western moon
a compass I lost
when I heard your mellow
in a melodious dream …
waves swallowed me
when I saw your coy smile
painting an archaic picture
of a crowned epoch.
I found myself safe, but taken
by memories that grieve me.
Not alone; your mother
drank the sea to beget you again
and your father is a shore of sadness
standing to erase death.
What inspires your creativity?
The universe is full of mysteries and that’s what inspires my creativity. I like themes to do with Astrology, religion and spirituality, philosophical items related to human personality, dreams, the visual and symbolic arts.
Your 2013 book release 'Lady Between the Sun and the Moon' is beautiful. Are you writing another poetry anthology? Details please! When will it be released?
I’m actually writing another collection in English that will be released in 2015. More details will be revealed soon….
What is your advice for beginning poets?
Poetry is the language of feeling. Every poet should shape feelings and thoughts into words. The first lines I wrote in my life were a story when I was 14 years old; the poetry genre came to me while writing diaries because my feelings were expressed honestly; then, too, my father advised me to write “M-Atroun”; he liked my style and encouraged me. I encourage beginning poets and my advice to them is to be modest and remain enthusiastic without being over-confident because the latter may lead to arrogance and this will affect their writing and cause readers to turn their backs on them.
Who is your favorite poet?
I have no one special poet. I love poetry of all generations and cultures; I like both old and contemporary poetry… I love William Blake’s poems. He was a great graphic artist too. I think artists are the best poets. He was not really understood by his peers but much has been written about him by twentieth-century readers who appreciate his greatness in his many fields of interest.
And your all-time favorite poem?
Speaking about my own work - lots of poems have been written about me and it is an honor to be an inspiration for artists…reading about myself makes me happy and proud. Napoleon Bonaparte said that music feeds feeling better than reading books “which feeds the mind.”
I say that reading poetry feeds feelings too because poetry is the source of emotions and wisdom”. I like the spiritual poetry of Hafiz, which has a beautiful and musical quality, which also embodies a great spontaneity. In a myriad of poetic ways, Hafiz expresses the spiritual experiences of a mystic, in love with his Beloved. Yet he achieves this in a playful and enchanting way. Like other spiritual poets, Hafiz weaves themes of ambiguity into his poems.
TRUE love has vanished from every heart;
What has befallen all lovers fair?
When did the bonds of friendship part?–
What has befallen the friends that were?
Ah, why are the feet of Khizr lingering?–
The waters of life are no longer clear,
The purple rose has turned pale with fear,
And what has befallen the wind of Spring?
None now sayeth: “A love was mine,
Loyal and wise, to dispel my care.”
None remembers love’s right divine;
What has befallen all lovers fair?
In the midst of the field, to the players’ feet,
The ball of God’s favor and mercy came,
But none has leapt forth to renew the game–
What has befallen the horsemen’s fleet?
Roses have bloomed, yet no bird rejoiced,
No vibrating throat has rung with the tale;
What can have silenced the hundred-voiced?
What has befallen the nightingale?
A city where kings are but lovers crowned,
A land from the dust of which friendship springs–
Who has laid waste that enchanted ground?
What has befallen the city of kings?
Years have passed since a ruby was won
From the mine of manhood; they labor in vain,
The fleet-footed wind and the quickening rain,
And what has befallen the light of the sun?
Hafiz, the secret of God’s dread task
No man knoweth, in youth or prime
Or in wisest age; of whom would’st thou ask:
What has befallen the wheels of Time?
List 10 things that your fans may not know about you...
Poetry reflects my life…what’s in my heart is woven through the lines I write. Social network fans know us through what we share and what we want them to know…but our personal lives remains mysterious…my readers contact me when they notice sadness in my writings and as I’m a very spontaneous person I answer them honestly ... I’ll reveal some things to my new readers or to those who haven’t had the opportunity to ask.
1 - Freedom for women is not only a subject that I like to write about, but it is also a cause that I stand for.
2 - Napoleon Bonaparte said: “The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up from dreaming.” Dreams are my fundamental element of inspiration. I keep saying, “I’m dreaming, don’t wake me up.”
3 - I would like to tell my readers that what I write is not only a reflection of my daily life; sometimes I like to wear other personalities and identities, play other roles.
4 - Arts and nature are worth the best photography endeavors. I wish I could picture my dreams.
5 - The prophet Mohamad (p-u-h),Tareq ibn ziad and Napoleon Bonaparte are the three impressive historical figures that have most influenced me.
6 - In addition to writing, teaching and learning languages, I’m a makeup artist….
7 - Cats are my favorite animals. I like giving them positive names…like Happy and Hope….
8 - I’m hopeful and I have a strong belief in God’s power. I’m not afraid of getting hurt by people I trust…I’m not afraid of critics since my intuition is always beautiful and I balance my deeds and words before they are done or spoken.
9 - I haven't achieved all my objectives but I keep challenging myself with greater goals. Sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war.
10 - I’m a peace wisher and I want understanding to solve the issues of racism in the world; as the prophet Mohamed (p.u.h) said, “No man is a true believer unless he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.”
Connect with Warda and read more of her beautiful poetry …