Waddah al-Yaman

Waddah al-Yaman (Arabic: وضّاح اليمن), born Abdul Rahman bin Isma’il al-Khawlani (Arabic: عبدالرحمن بن اسماعيل الخولاني) (died 708), was an Arab poet.


Al-Yaman was born in Yemen in the second half of the seventh century. He was famous for his erotic and romantic poems.

He was executed by the Ummayad Caliph Al-Walid I, allegedly due to his over familiarity with his wife. Al-Yaman is now regarded as the national poet of Yemen.


Excerpt of one of Al-Yaman's poems:

She said: "Don’t come to our home, my father is deadly jealous."
I said: "I’ll pluck you before he knows it, my sword is razor sharp."
She said: "There’s a whole castle between us."
I said: "I’ll fly my flag over the castle."
She said: "There’s a whole sea between us."
I said: "I’m a strong swimmer."
She said: "My seven brothers keep an eye on me."
I said: "I’m a match for them all."
She said: "Allah is watching us."
I said: "My lord is Merciful and Forgiving."
She said: "I have run out of words, so come tonight when everyone’s floating in dreams, and fall on me like dew, undisturbed."


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