Friday, November 18, 2016

It was Yesterday for Aïcha Amara

photo © Mark Butkus 2010
An artist's hues.

On Eid Al Istiqulal — Morocco's Independence Day — we cast a glance at Moroccan poet, Aïcha Amara.  C'était hier It Was Yesterday — is from her 1996 collection of themed poems, Mogador fille d'aylal Mogador: Daughter of Aylal. We came across Aïcha and her poetry in the coastal community of Essaouira, Morocco in 2011 and have been captivated by her words ever since.


It Was Yesterday

The artist who yesterday painted
The charms of my city
Is today looking for an awning
To seek shade
And to set up his easel.

The inspiration to paint
Is always there!
From the dazzling bazaars,
To the white houses
Bathed in bluish shadows
And to the patios filled with light.

Today, that inspiration
Returns to the artist
Through the elegant white drapes
Which flutter alongside the walls
Of it's ebb and flow and casual rests
In front of a stall in the bazaar
To feel the fine linens
To caress the silk.

The only thing missing is the awning...


— Aïcha Amara


Aïcha Amara is also the author of Safi et les odyssées de Thor Heyrdahl and and Désert les convergences. The English interpretation of C'était hier is by the Bar None Group. The original French version follows.


C'était hier

L'artiste qui peignait hier
les charmes de ma cité
cherche un auvent aujourd'hui
pour s'abriter
et planter son chevalet

L'inspiration est toujours là
pour peindre
les bazars éclatants
les maisons blanches
baignées dans des ombres bleuâtres
et les patios pleins de lumière

Aujourd'hui existent encore
les élégantes drapées de  blanc
qui glissent le long des murs
s'arrêtant parfois
devant une échoppe
pour palper une draperie
caresser une soierie

seul manque l'auvent...


— Aïcha Amara