Umm Al-Qura University

Umm Al-Qura University

Umm Al-Qura University Reviews the Creative Testimonies Expressed by Poets and Storytellers in a Literary Lecture

On Sunday, the Women's Committee of the Saudi Scientific Association for Arabic Literature, affiliated to Umm Al-Qura University, organized a meeting entitled "Reviewing the Creative Testimonies of Some of the Kingdom's Men of Letters." The meeting which was held in the university's female section discussed the testimonies of two poets and two storytellers.

During the meeting, administrated by professor of the Department of Literature at the College of Arabic Language, Dr. Noura Al-Sufiani, testimonies of four men of letters were presented: "Poetic Biography" by Ghazi Al-Gosaibi, "My Experience with the Story" by Muhammad Quds, "The Sword and Rose Confessions" by Abdul-Aziz Mishri, and "My Story With Poetry" by Hassan Al-Qurashi.

The readings were performed by two lecturers in the Department of Literature at the College of Arabic Language, Ms. Badriyah Al-Maliki, and Ms. Mona Al-Muntashri, who were honored by Dr. Haifa' Fida, Advisor to the UQU Vice President for Female Student Affairs, in her position as Head of the Women's Committee of the Saudi Scientific Association for Arabic Literature at Mekkah.

During the meeting, Ms. Badriyah Al-Maliki assured that the poet Ghazi Al-Gosaibi, in his "Poetic Biography", attempts to document his creative journey and track its movement, through the stages of his biography until its completion. Further, she explained that the first edition of the biography, 141 pages, was released in 1400 A.H, when Al-Gosaibi was 41 years of age.

She added that the first edition of the book included nine chapters, as follows: the Beginning, the Initial Influences, Poems from the Islands of Pearls, Drops of Thirst, Battle Without a Banner, Verses About Flirting, You are Riyadh, They Are Asking You About Poetry, and Poems.

She went on to note that in the first two chapters, the poet discussed both the beginning of his poetry and the first influences that left an impact on his journey. Chapters three to seven were devoted to discussing his collections of poems. Chapter eight responded to questions asked regarding his own poetry. The ninth and final chapter contained ten of his own selected poems.

She said that eight years later, in 1408 A.H, Al-Gosaibi issued a new edition of his biography, re-organizing its chapters and including remarkable additions. The book was divided into three parts and expanded to more than 300 pages. The first part is the Biography of Poetry, consisting of ten chapters, seven of which were in the first edition. The second part is They Are Asking You About Poetry, consisting of the following eight chapters: Me, Poetry, Life, Experience, Love, Sadness, Criticism, and Concerns of Bad Times. The third part is called Poetry, and includes fourteen selected poems from his previous collections, four of which were not included in the first edition.

Turning to the second part of the biography of poetry, she said that in 1417 A.H, Al-Gosaibi issued the second part of the biography of poetry, which was approximately 154 pages. It included the following seven chapters: Roses on Sana Braids, A Necklace of Stone, The Former Knight's Epitaph, Color on Flowers, On Old and New Poetry Cities, Endless Poetry Questions, and Poems. It is noteworthy that the first four chapters were named after the titles of his collections, whereas the fifth and sixth chapters contain journalistic questions and answers. As for the last chapter, it included selected poems from his previous collections, which were discussed in the first four chapters.

She then went on to tackle the testimony of Muhammad Ali Quds, describing it as "not extensive." She explained that the testimony was published in a periodical book, including a collection of testimonies about the local storytelling experience between reality and hope. Among such testimonies was the testimony of Muhammad Quds, "My experience With the Story Between Reading and Creativity." Finally, she added that it is noteworthy that the details regarding the poetic biography of Ghazi Al-Gosaibi prevail more than references to the experience of Muhammad Quds' storytelling experience. This is owing to differences in volume between the two experiences.

In turn, lecturer in the Department of Literature at the College of Arabic Language, Ms. Mona Al-Muntashri, tackled the biography of the poet Hassan Al-Qurashi, whom she described as a prolific poet. Further, she explained that his creative testimony, known as My Poetic Experience, traces his experience from the very beginning to the very end, and from the initial convictions he used to have to the mid-course shifts that influenced his life.

She pointed out that he started his creative testimony with his own concept of the status of poetry. That is, it consists of both ambition and desire, as well as pursuit and will. Later, she discussed the sources that influenced his poetic experience, such as memorizing the Holy Qur'an at the age of ten, reading different stories, and poems he kept in his mind upon hearing them from his father.

Additionally, she referred to one of his stories from school when one of his teachers refused to give him the chance to read verses composed by the poet Antara bin Shaddad, claiming that such verses were beyond his age; something that later led Hassan Al-Qurashi to develop a critical reading on the poetry of Antara. She touched briefly upon aspects of his poetic interests and critical opinions. Furthermore, she indicated that the documentary narrative prevailed in his testimony over the creative part where he talks about his own poetic writings.

Also, she considered in her speech that the storyteller Abdul-Aziz Mishri, in his collection entitled "The Sword and Rose Confessions," did not make explicit what he means by bringing together the two extremes: the sword and the rose.