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Part of: World Poets’ Tour 2008 Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi plus a talk on Wordsworth and Arabic Poetry at SOAS

Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS

The translation of Wordsworth and the Romantic poets had a major impact on twentieth-century poetry in Arabic. One of the key figures in this respect was the late Sudanese poet, Mohammed Abd Al-Hayy (1945-89) who, in turn, had a profound influence on Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi, who met Al-Hayy shortly before he died. Al-Hayy was very conscious of his identity as an African poet writing in Arabic. And, like Wordsworth, he wished to break free of the formal constraints of poetry to write in 'the real language of men'. Hence his importance to contemporary Arabic poets, especially to those from Sudan like Saddiq.

Professor Sabry Hafez was a close friend of Al-Hayy's from when they first met as post-graduate students at Oxford and, as an expert on contemporary Arabic literature, he gave a fascinating talk on Al-Hayy, his poetry and the influence he effected on poetry in Arabic through his pioneering research and translations.

After the talk, Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi read his poems in Arabic with Sarah Maguire reading the translations she'd produced with Sabry Hafez. An audience of Sudanese community members, academics, students, and people interested in Romantic poetry, greeted this innovative event with great interest and enthusiasm.

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