Moroccan Poet Aicha el-Basri
Casablanca - Raja Battoui
Aicha el-Basri is a Moroccan poet who has a creativity and beauty to her poetry and gives a spread of emotions within the same text. She is very professional and knows what to do and what to say. Her great cultural activity is a spotlight in her literary course. In this conversation, Aicha el-Basri opens up to Arabstoday about her creative and cultural world and talks about simplicity and sincerity.
ArabsToday: Many critics describe your poetry experience as distinctive, what are the characteristics of this distinction?
Aicha el-Basri: Maybe because I write with my spirit and body together so my poems come out saturated with honesty, or maybe because of the rebellion in the depth of my texts against all taboos. I do not write because I want to write, but because of an internal will that encourages me. It urges me to say what cannot be said through the usual use of language. My stylistic poetic approach as some have described it, is distinct from the list of the new poetic generation in the Arab world. I do not see it as distinction, but a trial to search for a poem that is like me and does not mimic others and at the same time reaches the other. A poem that honestly paints all my spiritual and physical differences. When the poet is honest, even if the poet started from within himself, I'm sure it will touch the depth of other because writing is all about communication with the self and other.
AT: Your poems have been translated into several languages ??worldwide, have those translations succeeded and how can the translator maintain the spirit of the poem?
AB: As much as the translation tried to be faithful to the text, it can never translate it with the essence of its original text but at the same time it has a significant role in bringing the text out from the isolation and taking it to spaces and other cultures. Through translation, the text and the writer goes into the memory of the other. Regarding the translation of my texts, I think it is very successful. However, I leave the judgment to the professional translators.
AT: Arabic poem today is no longer the divan of Arabs, how do you explain this fact?
AB: On the contrary, the poem is still the divan of Arabs and their preferred language in the expression of their victories and defeats. Poetry is the oldest art that has accompanied the Arab human since the Stone Age and until our time; this is why poetry enjoys a privileged position between creative genres. About the reality of the poem, it is an integral part of the reality of Arab culture which swings between seriousness and absurdity, and all the fine arts are no longer at the front of the Arab cultural scene, not just poetry.
AT: What do you think about the critic movement and do find the Arab criticism fair with your poems?
AB: There is no critic movement in the Arab world in the true sense. There is only individual criticism. Of course, there are those who saw my poetry production within the constellation of new voices.
AT: Can you compare between the Eastern and Moroccan poetry, and what is the form of the poetry that you support?
AB: I believe that poetry in the East still holds on to its poetic origins, many of the Eastern poets have not turned their back to these origins. Even if some modern trends appeared to some young people there. While in Morocco, many turn their backs to the poetic origin. The poet is the one who transcends above the forms and can write in all forms of writing through the pairing of the ancient classic text and the creativity of the modern text.
AT: There are studies that pose numerous classifications on your poetry and connect it within the specificities of women's literature, how do you deal with these classifications?
AB: I reject all classifications whatever they were and under any name. The poem is not a male or female, but it is a humane creativity that carries the writer’s specifics according to their culture. If I may describe poetry as a transgender. There are no dividing lines between what women write and what men write, because the poetry as I see it is far from all critical classifications.
AT: You deal with Arabian issues strongly through the self, the thing that creates complex tragedy in your poems, how do you express the details of this style and embody the issue and self together in your poetry?
AB: I am fully aware that my poetry does not make sense if it does not carry my feelings to the reader or embrace the pain of the people. I do not want my poems only to dance over the ropes of self, but I simply wanted it to be multilateral above humanity. This is how all my poetry was harmonic and combines imagination and reality.
AT: How do you see the state of poetry in Morocco today?
AB: I see today the Moroccan cultural scene full of creativity, I see poetry writing as an unruly revolution that cannot be stopped and this is obvious to all the cultural observers who follow our cultural scene. Of course, this is due to the changes that have occurred in our Morocco, which had a very definite positive role on the community and have had a significant impact on the improvement of poetry and creativity in general.