In honor of the Moroccan holiday, Enthronement, we present this work by one of the great Berber poets.

Mririda n’Ait Attik
c. 1900 – c. 1940’s


People called me Mririda, Mririda,
Mririda, the gaile rennet of meadows…
With eyes of gold…
But the rennet’s white chest I do not have
Nor do I have her green tunic.
Yet, like her, I have my ‘zrarit’, my ‘zrarit’
Which reach the sheep-folds
My ‘zrarit’, my ‘zrarit’
Of which people talk in the entire valley
And even on the other sides of the mountains.
My “zrarit” which marvel, which arouse desire…
Because ever since my first steps in the fields,
I slowly took the agile rennet in my hands,
And long pressed her white chest onto mine,
And then onto my maiden lips.
That is how the rennet gave me the marvelous virtue
Of the baraka which makes her sing
A song so clear, so vibrant, so pure
In the Summer nights bathed by the moon,
A song like crystal,
Like the clear noise of an anvil
In the resonant air that precedes rain…
And thanks to the gift that Mririda gave me
They call me: Mririda, Mririda…
He who takes me will feel
My heart beating in his hand
As I often felt under my fingers
The crazy heart-beats of the rennet.
In the nights bathed by the moon
He will call me Mririda, Mririda,
The soft nickname that is so dear to me
For him I will release my sharp ‘zrarit’,
My strident, prolonged ‘zrarit’,
That men admire and women envy,
And such that the valley has never witnessed…

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