Mauritanian poet Sheikh Weld Belamsh
Nouakchott - Mohammed Sharif Aabeidy
Mauritanian poet Sheikh Weld Belamsh said in an interview with 'Arabstoday' that most of his Mauritanian counterparts are committed to their nation's cause, and they wrote extensively, bemoaning al-Quds and "and her sisters".
We asked him about his poems on the Arab Spring, and he replied: "Advocating the national causes is not an option, but fate, as they are an essential component of oneself, and a source of inspiration. With its dreams and sorrow, the Arab Spring revolutions came to the forefront of our literature."
"Who can stop my tears or poems, when I see my crippled nation ready to spring...we have seen young men bare their souls to give life to their people, a life of freedom and dignity."
Of his most prominent poems about the Arab spring, he mentioned three: "Take my heart, you are the one who deserves it, and say to the time, Damascus", "A Decision to kill the fear", and "Didn't I tell you, O Pharaoh". He added that the positive reaction from his audience earned him peace and happiness.
He added: "I will not be exaggerating if I say that all Mauritanian poets wrote to al-Quds, and the Arabic agony, but the slogans of the Arab Spring remains more poetic than any poem, and a slogan like "Death or Degrading" will remain a lurid poetic declaration. When the masses chant a slogan like 'the people want to change the regime' they are summing up their goal, explain their cause, and colouring their expression with dreams."
Belamesh mentioned his creativity concerns, which he puts in poetry, explaining that "poetry is not a talisman or flourishing words, a poet is like a painter, he should put the appropriate amount of colours in, and when I write a poem I taste it first, to make sure it will generate a different sense, because the form is not the most important thing, the meaning alone is enough...we cannot explain how we create, but we can be creative. This is a taste and skill, and a touch of inspiration, a magic mix we bring to people, to bring in them a sense of love for life and people".
Of the women in his poems he said: "I love that when we talk about a cause we put it in a woman's dress, so we need a velvety revelation to mellow the soul, and you could not do that unless you had been overwhelmed by love. Even in the poetry of struggle, you cannot say a beautiful thing unless you awakened your losses in love, and bemoan the nights of loneliness. In an old poem of mine titled 'A breath at the grave of the martyr', I said:
Love has crucified, my poem has the melody of al-Rasheed, and a;-Maamoon
Lovers been separated, love's been suffocated, its sun is absent from my eyes
Whenever lover mourned it was shushed, condemned for youth and madness
Imposed an embargo against Lobaied , and permitted the opium trade.
Hold me, you who melt my heart, and on the page of struggle write me
Teach me the art of rebellion, determination, and screaming in the silent nights
Teach me to be a sacrifice in the war against the dreaded
When the barricades closed at night, dignity awoke in the prisons' conscience
Then the talk became a defeat and struggle become the confident truth
When the pregnant was beaten, awareness was born in every embryo
About today's role of the media, he said: "As a result of the large number of Arab satellite channels and a renewed interest in poetry that began a few years ago, the years of alienating poetry have gone. One of the advantages of our time is that the delivery of poems does not require more than one click in the internet era."
We asked him about his view on literature today, especially in Mauritania and the Arab world, and if it was true that every poet has his own demon, and if the most beautiful poetry is the most false.
He replied: "I think Mauritanian poetry is on the verge of an era of excellence, and the flowers of health and wellness are on its cheeks, after having being weakened by inattention for so long. There are young people trying to bring back the old, beautiful days that we were always proud of. Modern times have shortened the distances between us and our Arab brothers, who start to learn about our poetry, and the communication between our experiences has deepened."
"As for every poet's demon, it is sure a funny legend from our heritage. The truth is, poetry is a state of mind that overwhelms the poet, and he could not help but express what in his heart. The beauty of poetry has some reasons of course, but lying is not one of it, unless you mean the wonderful exaggerations in poetry sometimes."
He added: "Poetry is like a moment of birth; it must subjected to pain."