The Prophet of Black Folk (Portfolio of Prints) The Poems are by Adonis a contemporary Arab poet, translated from Arabic by Emna Zghal. The Prophet of Black Folk refers to Ali Ibn Muhammad leader of the Zanj Revolt that occurred in 9th Century in Iraq. The leader of Zanj was a poet, some of his contemporaries wanted him to claim prophecy but he refused to bear such burden.
In Arab culture, the Zanj revolt has always carried strong symbols of defiance and empowerment for the oppressed people in general. The Zanj were people from brought East Africa to clear salt from Iraq's southern marshes. Their revolt lasted fourteen years during which the Zanj defeated the army of the Abbasid Empire and conquered the city of Basra for ten years. "Zanj" is the word for black people in today's Arabic. In his recent books Adonis calls Ali Ibn Muhammad: The Prophet of Black Folk. The following is the translation from Arabic by Emna Zghal of some excerpts from Adonis' Al Kitab II and Al Kitab III. Emna Zghal © 2003
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The Prophet Of Black Folk Portfolio: Plate One,
etching, woodcut, paper-litho, A/P, 12"x18",2002
They thought that he
does not speak prophets' words
they thought that he
is getting ready to reform the sky.

The Prophet Of Black Folk Portfolio: Plate two,
monotype, paper-litho, A/P, 12"x18",2004
The fields the alleys are
petrified of the sound
of our steps, -
Is it our storms coming?

The Prophet Of Black Folk Portfolio: Plate Three,
etching, ink and paper-litho, A/P, 12"x18",2002
The Prophet of Black Folk said:
Black ink is flowing
over the papers of this
world:
white cannot
be unless it is
fertilized by
Black luster.

The Prophet Of Black Folk Portfolio: Plate Four,
etching and paper-litho, A/P, 12"x18",2002
The Prophet of Black Folk said:
The desire of things
is the blood of things.

The Prophet Of Black Folk Portfolio: Plate Five,
etching, woodcut and paper-litho, A/P, 12"x18",2002
The Prophet of Black Folk said:
The World- this World
is a pact
between a throne and oppression and I
am innocent of this pact.

The Prophet Of Black Folk Portfolio: Plate Six,
etching and paper-litho, A/P, 12"x18",2002

The Prophet of Black Folk said:
The eggs of the stars
are hatched in nests
of rebellion,
they will celebrate Earth's holyday.
*
Infinity
lies dumb
in an ant's hill.

The Prophet Of Black Folk Portfolio: Plate Seven,
collagraph and paper-litho, A/P, 12"x18",2002collagraph and paper-litho, A/P, 12"x18",2002

The people of Basra are either fleeing,
stupefied or kneeling.
That is the completion of my vision:
Basra's complete destruction.
*
Put your hands on my cheeks,
make sure that
my head is my despair.

The Prophet Of Black Folk Portfolio: Plate Eight,
etching and paper-litho, A/P, 12"x18",2002

The Prophet of Black Folk said
as Black Folk conquered it:
Basra rose before me
My people in it are a typhoon,
permitting no escape.

The Prophet Of Black Folk Portfolio: Plate Nine
monotype, paper-litho, A/P, 12"x18",2002 ,
The Prophet of Black Folk said:
History is a marriage
between the image
and the meaning.

The Prophet Of Black Folk Portfolio: Plate Ten
dry point and paper-litho, A/P, 12"x18",2002 ,
The Prophet of Black Folk said:
Typhoon, typhoon
to sink the kingdom
of oppression.
They said: sword, spear, bow,
sling, catapults and stones–
these are the weapons
of Black Folk,
- How then did they get away?
How did Ali get away?
*
History walks
before him
things walk
without a path, with
out light, with
out space.

The Prophet Of Black Folk Portfolio: Plate Eleven,
monotype, paper-litho, A/P, 12"x18",2002
The head of the Prophet of Black Folk
is cut and thrown
into the Caliph's hands
A head
of dreams is now ashes.

The Prophet Of Black Folk Portfolio: Plate Twelve,
monotype, paper-litho, A/P, 12"x18",2002
After the Death of Ali
who will
rekindle
for Black Folk in this surrounding
darkness, the flame of
memory?

Photograph No.14 Vestibulum purus orci, consequat a suscipit a, rutrum ut tortor. Ut hendrerit lorem vehicula libero bibendum condimentum. Donec pharetra ornare nibh, eu eleifend lacus vehicula vitae. Aliquam ac lobortis erat. Aliquam a elit nec quam convallis vestibulum. Donec ornare arcu sit amet sapien tincidunt a dignissim justo vestibulum. Vivamus malesuada elementum purus tristique lobortis. Nulla condimentum augue at augue rhoncus interdum.

Photograph No.15 Nunc eleifend massa nec massa vehicula a interdum nibh lobortis. Vivamus sollicitudin porta ornare. Proin vel ante pretium metus pharetra pulvinar id eu erat. Phasellus in mi nunc. Nulla semper augue at purus dignissim at commodo quam accumsan. Etiam interdum diam at metus posuere in ullamcorper orci placerat. Aenean iaculis enim et lacus vestibulum in accumsan libero posuere.

Photograph No.16 Phasellus dictum nunc sit amet eros molestie auctor. Aliquam erat volutpat. Vestibulum eleifend metus ac ipsum rhoncus at pharetra augue auctor. Pellentesque nec massa enim, et egestas orci. Integer imperdiet, quam eu lacinia auctor, leo sem mattis justo, nec pharetra erat elit a odio. Nullam interdum varius diam, at molestie nunc consequat ut. Fusce eu sagittis eros. Vivamus dapibus tempus vestibulum.

Photograph No.17 Aliquam quis sem velit. Suspendisse erat dolor, suscipit vel ultrices quis, pretium et dui. Nam adipiscing, justo a dignissim lacinia, mauris arcu euismod nulla, quis suscipit enim nisi non nibh. Vestibulum euismod, nibh quis rhoncus rutrum, nibh urna porta nisl, in facilisis velit purus id arcu.

Photograph No.18 Mauris ultrices adipiscing quam in fringilla. Duis porttitor tellus quis tellus laoreet luctus aliquet velit laoreet. Nam iaculis ultrices lacus at semper. Ut vel nibh lectus, sed porta lorem. Fusce a massa non justo elementum mattis. Praesent tincidunt nibh ac purus imperdiet vel pretium felis tristique. Cras dapibus molestie tortor, a pretium orci eleifend a.

Photograph No.19 Praesent vulputate urna eu est gravida ut tincidunt odio ultricies. Mauris sed magna erat. Nullam bibendum mauris consectetur libero lacinia laoreet. Cras rutrum augue eget tortor aliquam aliquam. Fusce et rutrum ipsum.

Photograph No.20 Ut bibendum, nunc in euismod luctus, orci tellus mollis lorem, sit amet vulputate lectus diam varius sapien. Quisque id neque libero. Nullam elementum tempus eros at fermentum. Donec luctus risus nec libero tempus id congue erat tempus. Ut odio leo, ultricies nec posuere et, porttitor eget tellus. Curabitur vehicula cursus quam id vestibulum.

Photograph No.21 Nunc ullamcorper mauris non nisl pharetra id feugiat mauris interdum. Curabitur ornare erat a justo auctor a accumsan dolor mollis. Donec eget tellus sit amet lectus ultrices commodo ac ac ipsum. Maecenas ornare scelerisque odio sit amet lacinia. Nam ac neque ut sem congue congue vel ut tortor.

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