(In English) "Fatma", a famous Malhun poem: transcription in Latin script, translation and full metrical scansion

The malhun poem  الغُزال فاطمة (“Fatma the Gazelle”)


by Driss Ben Ali Al-Malki.


Transcribed in Latin script and translated into English, with full metrical scansion


by Mohamed Elmedlaoui.

July, 14 2022




Click on this link for the PDF full text

(transcription, translation and metrical scansion)





Final remarks on the poem “Fatma the Gazelle”.


Two major remarks about the poem “Fatma the Gazelle” deserve being highlighted:

At the ethno-cultural level, and like the case with the three previously translated poems (Hamman, Naker Lehsan and Malika; the links above at the beginning of the document), the poem at hand clearly and strongly reflects some deep socio-cultural values of the Moroccan society, In particular, the cross-fields transposition. Thus, a whole set of terms/concepts/values pertaining to

 to the socio-political field an old seigniorial system (namely the relationship between Lords and slaves), are projected in malhun poetry on the field of love (beloved-to-lover relationship).


In terms of poetic artistry and verse, the skillfully structured giant stanza setting, as well as the highly sophisticated distribution of a rich rhyme set as exhibited in Fatma poem in particular, accord the Malhun poetry in the general a status other than that of a mere “folk poetry”, consecrated so far by the general use. The table of metrical scansion of the whole poem, as well as a table that visualizes the distribution of the game of rhymes throughout the poem, allow seeing this in a global view. Remark the regular distribution of rhymes (colored) and metrical gaps (shaded) on the metrical wheel of seven cells represented as seven columns in the scansion table.




Some other previously translated malhun poems with a sketched introduction to the malhun poetic genre:


-       Hamman Story poem



-       Naker Lehsan poem



-       Malika poem














Mohamed Elmedlaoui         محمد المدلاوي



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