The Dīwān of Ḥājj Dākōn, published by the American Institute for Yemeni Studies in 2011, is a collection of eighteen poems in the endangered Mahri language of Yemen and Oman, one of the last, non-Arabic indigenous languages of the Arabian Peninsula. This publication marks an important step in the history of the Mahri language since it contains its first literary texts meant for a local readership. Ḥājj Dākōn, a pioneer of modern Mahri sung-poetry, has included an Arabic translation for each Mahri poem, which is supplemented by an English translation and transliteration into Latin characters provided by Samuel Liebhaber. The Dīwān is introduced by commentary that places the innovations of Ḥājj Dākōn’s lyric qaṣīdas in their cultural and linguistic context. A facsimile of Ḥājj’s original handwritten manuscript is included in the Dīwān. Starting in June 2012, audio and visual recordings of each poem in recitation will be accessible online on the site: http://blogs.middlebury.edu/mahripoetry/.

Sample poem, #6 from The Dīwān of Ḥājj Dākōn


English translation


Arabic translation


Mahri


Mahri transliteration