Seale, who lives in Istanbul, is a writer and a translator from Arabic and French, and her first translated book, Aladdin, is coming out from W. W. Norton in November 2018.
Dakhtanus bint Laqit lived and wrote in the late sixth century, before the hijra.
This poem opens:
He came early with the news:
the best of Khindif, full-grown
and young combined, is dead.
No one brought their enemies
more fear, nor saved so many
held captive. Their pearl. Excellent
in war, undaunted, always the one
to meet kings: it did them proud
when he spoke. His bloodline
was perfect: you could trace it
back, a column reaching all the way
to the tribe’s origin. As a bright star
spikes the dark, a greater hero
fell upon him, determining
the hour of his death.
Keep reading on Sultan’s Seal.