Unassuming Poet Mohammed Noaman Al-Hakimi to Yemen Times:” The incipient phase of loftiness with which I was withdrawn into a conscious instant and deeply felt human sensation told me: YOU ARE A POET!” [Archives:2005/863/Last Page]

July 28 2005

For his thirty-three years he seems to know much more about humans and human feelings. Expressed in his poetry lines he forcefully takes you through a world of emotions and wonders. The most amazing thing is that he writes poetry in both Arabic and English.

With his bachelor of English from Sana'a University and years of experience as an English language teacher, Mr. Al-Hakimi has mastered this foreign language and published more than 90 poems in both English and Arabic.

He was also chosen by Larry Frolick the Canadian author in his book Ten thousand scorpions – in search of queen Sheba's gold!” as a face from the kingdom of Sheba.

King- pins' pitfalls

“That fame has gone to drain

That dawn but shown in vain

They've come to flee at thee

You've come to prove insane!”

Recently Mohammed has published his first poems collection called Bawabat al Shagan, translated: “Gate to curiosity”. Nadia al Sakkaf of the Yemen Times interviewed Mohammed al Hakimi and filled in the following details:

Why Bawabat al Shagan?

Firstly, I boast being interviewed by YT editor Nadia Al-Saqqaf.

Bawabat Al-Shagan is my first published poetic diwan in which I try to seek in darkness faces a firebrand. In fact, it reflects me running within the tears of my homeland. In it, I am flowing with affection as morning, embracing all fields with love. I try my best to flee the blindness legend and catch a more realistic world.

You have chosen a very peculiar cover picturing a woman crawling to a far destination, can you describe why is that so?

I was not involved at all in making the cover and how it was supposed to be like. However, it means to me that there is something exciting. According to the worn – out Yemeni adage: ” Anxiety made the old woman crawl. In fact, I expect to see something good behind the clouds!

Who are the people behind Mr. Hakimi today?

I am indebted to lots of people who encouraged me: YT; Canadian author Larry Frolick; Sameer Al-Yusofi; Ammar Al-buthaigi and Yemen's literary figure Abdul-Rahman Bakar; my aunt Jaeaher too.

What was the turning point of your life that told you who you are?

The incipient phase of loftiness with which I was withdrawn into a conscious instant and deeply felt human sensation told me ” You are a poet”!

Henceforward I started dueling into the world of poetry in both English and Arabic. I can say that my best piece in English was “Winter and compunction”, and in Arabic “Iftinan”, “lafahat”, and “bawabat Al- Shagan;”.

Winter and Compunction

Completely adrift,

We're made for surrender

Made to bow low,

To a lower pretender

Yielding up everything we've been given

Living with the long odds of being forgiven.

Is it easy to be a published poet in Yemen?

I managed to publish my book anyhow. Being a member of literary men union made it quite easy. However, I have two unpublished ones. I need many years again to wait for my turn now. I know many good poets who are worth. Still they cannot publish even in newspapers. More so, you would not be able to find my book in bookstores because the distribution and coverage was not good.

Although at some points of my life I was acknowledged through many rewards in local participation. But frankly speaking the literature and artistic rewards in Yemen do not come with great financial value, if you know what I mean. Authors and literary persons are suffering a lot. You know this and all Yemenis know this too.

Why then be a poet?

My dear, we need poetry for the sake of poetry itself. I hope in the future I get the chance to prove my worth in the field of my choice, and develop into a poet of national stature. My poetry is distinguished by spontaneous feelings and deeply felt human values. Some foreigners were impressed by the quality of my creative imagination. K.M.Tiwary-Indian professor of English wrote: ” Mohammad's Al-Hakimi's intuitive understanding of the overall expressive resources of the Arabic language is deep and mature. The images in his poems are fresh and striking, the rhythm of his verses is full of colloquial verve, and his lexical choices are sensitive and off the beaten track”. Some other critics had different impressions such as that by Dr. Abdul-Hamid Al-Husam, who studied my and showed me my mistakes. However, I do respect the other impressions and take pride in them. Mr. Abdul-Rahman Bakar who introduced my publication mentioned earlier said that I am a renewed poet, as for me I only write and others can comment.

Reversion Tunes (Translated)

Here rests my convoy

On pains and a calamity

Of remembrance

And dark revolutionary dreams

About to resolve to attacking

The whole world.

Why is the dream fractured

And the white flag lacks

A home and supporters!

Why should I die of longing

Though enough intimacy's chaff

And friends?!

Here the lyre is playing

Its reversion thirsty tune

And none can hear such sweet

Chanting in my heart,

But you!

Here I shed another tear

Over this darkness' embraces

Teeming with distress

To feel at ease about all