Drawing Arabic With Plethoric Splotchification

[qad nadim-tu (alaA-l’kalaAmi] I regretted speaking…

I’ve little practice handwriting Arabic. Even less am I schooled in the monastic rigors of calligraphy. I do confess to an effort to “draw” Arabic. My models are the characters as they appear in printed texts. I savor their swoops and trills. I try not to fuss over my renderings, just take off and see how it ends — nip, tuck and stretch, with spur-of-the-moment flourishes, all hoist on the petard of whim. Something decorative may emerge from the garish fizzles now and again.

[wa lam ‘Andam (alaA-s-sukuUti] but I did not regret silence.

The important side effect of drawing Arabic is that it impresses aspects of the language on my mind, helping me retain new vocabulary or a turn of phrase. It’s part and parcel of my re-immersion in a language that laid hold of me at an early stage of university and rescues me now. I pore once again over my texts a grands coups de dictionnaire, as the French say: “hitting the dictionary hard.” With luck I’ll build sufficient linguistic muscle to engage with works by poets writing in Arabic today.

(c) 2022 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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