Antara by Nizar Qabbani (English Version)
Antara was an Arab hero from the pre-Islamic era. He was the despised son of a black slave who made his fortunes through acts of bravery and won the heart of the beautiful Abla. Centuries later, and as Qabbani once wrote, ”in an Arab era which has specialized in assassinating poems,” Antara became, under the pen of the poet, the prototype of the almighty and omniscient dictators who ruled or are still ruling so many countries across all continents.
He gets drunk all night long at its gates
And collects the rent from the tenants
He asks its women for marriage
And shoots on its trees, on its children, on its eyes
And on its scented fingers