“Modern Arab poetry has evolved against the background of the turmoil of the Arab world,” writes translator Abdullah al-Udhari in the introduction to this bilingual anthology of Arabic poetry featuring Adonis, Mahmud Darwish, and Samih al-Qasim, first published in 1984 by Saqi Books. “This collection is meant to provide English-speaking readers with a sense of the frontiers of Arab poetry today.” With the original Arabic and the English translations side-by-side, this anthology renders in song the intimate experiences of poets who have used their work to resist victimization and express their aspirations as contemporary writers. The work of these three poets, as al-Udhari writes, “led to the breakdown of classical Arab poetic conventions and redrew the map of Arab poetry.” Featuring detailed biographical notes and historical context to the works, this collection will help broaden the language of any writer seeking to express the urgent and ineffable.
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