Modernist Yemeni poet Haytham departed this life [Archives:2007/1032/Culture]

March 12 2007

Haytham's eyes closed to farewell this life – dark and meaningful words for anyone who has suffered a loss. Famed Yemeni modernist poet Mohammed Hussein Haytham passed away March 2.

Although Haytham now has left this life, he had made something particular and real of his life. His creative and distinctive poems remain alive to relate his life journey and reflect his innovative method of writing development. Not only was he a poet, he was a thinker, writer and researcher as well.

The first of Haytham's six poetry collections was, “Seen Iktemalat.”

“Haytham published six collections, which caused him to attain the highest level of any Yemeni modernist poet. Before his passing, he was about to publish a seventh collection, which involved his recent works and the innovative method of writing they represent,” said Abdulaziz Al-Maqaleh, the Advisor to the President, Director of the Yemen Center for Studies and Research.

Many poets consider Haytham's death a huge loss for Yemeni culture in particular and Arabs in general because his poems carry the signs of modernism in terms of vocabulary and issues.

Throughout his life, Haytham's various works dealt with intellectual and moral issues of public concern. His poetic works include numerous fields of criticism and literature and his writing reflects his intellectual perspective on social issues.

Haytham was a great man possessing a huge heart, a boundless dream and a bright view of life. The father of three also was positive in his relationships with his family and friends.

Fellow Yemeni poet Abdulaziz Al-Maqaleh hopes Haytham's final collection will be published soon and added to his works to be republished, especially his prose regarding art criticism, in addition to intellectual and social issues.

Haytham was born in Aden in 1958 and was one of the pioneers of free verse poetry. He graduated from the Faculty of Education's philosophy department at Aden University.

In 1990, he worked at the Center for Studies and Research as a researcher in the linguistics and literature section before occupying the position of the center's deputy until his death. He also was a general trustee of the Yemeni Writers Union until his death.

Moreover, Haytham was a journalist for the culture section and an editor of Al-Hikma (Wisdom) magazine for several years.