© 2011 طرفة بن الوردة

Tarafa Ibn Alwarda .. almost

Qassim Haddad


Tarafa Ibn Alabd

The difference between me and him is that he could scold life earlier. He drank the greatest glass and left while I am still stumbling on its fascinating presence at every moan and luster of light. Tim e distance could not serve as a cover, a hindrance, or a privilege. I have never been able to avoid him. No sooner had I come to know about the furious clash with his tribe, and felt why he revolted against the tent merging into the desert, and heard him preaching in the universe; (As injustice of relatives is more painful than a lustrous sword), than I sensed the ambiguous secret slipping into the veins of my soul and the very details of the rest of my life to come. It began to shape the suppressed concepts of many of my poems that later declared such intimate intersection with Tarafa Ibn Alabd in the form of text and experience as well as those texts which introspected his life and work, and reincarnated him or used him as a spell in all my actions such as writing prose, composing verse, or matching.

The more I grow old, the more this ambiguous remote being becomes closer than the jugular vein to me. I cannot relinquish him. I don’t deny him although on him I have no dominion, while his strange domination is deep and apparent in my spirit and ink.
Tarafa Ibn Alabd has been my companion in tavern or in jail. I shared with him the body and the person: all over the text, the margin, and the footnotes as well.

In every writing, and every work of art I did achieve, he always has the share of the entity. It has been no longer possible to describe the boundaries between us except to the extent that a sword can pass through the distant between the soul and the body leaving no blood nor creating a scandal. A companionship that goes past the words and brushes up life.


This is a book I have been aspiring to write for forty years and I have achieved in four years. I am afraid that all of this is not enough yet. I was not sure about what I was working on. That is why I kept silent and held my tongue. Nonetheless I am still not comprehending exactly of what I have accomplished. However I did let some of my friends; some men of letter and artists, to know part of what I had become engrossed in just to be ascertained of my penhold!


After such a long passion of the plastic art, and as a result of the joint experiences with the painters, this experience comes as a question putting me in the direction of adventure. It serves as an examination of all the senses and doubles the pleasure at once. This experience showed up amid one of the expected peaks of the joint and various acts subject to success and failure, in order to be free and fly in the wind with new wings.

I did not know what I specifically wanted: Was it the search for the artistic thing in itself or the prompt seek to create the artistic thing again and again? Was there an unseen desire to crystallize artistic concepts attached to the mysterious relations that are confused between the vision and from of creation? Between the subject of the text and its significance, language and instruments?

Moreover, is all of this just a proposal aiming at a dialogue among the boundaries of the text as a literary work and its horizons as being an art capable to manifest in different expressive forms?
I don’t know.


This is a book that teaches me a lot.