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Canvas of the Soul: Mystic Poems from the Heartland of Arabia Paperback – June 16, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Tughra Books (June 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597842699
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597842693
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 6.3 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,800,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

 
The present book is significant in that it reflects something of that classical expression of spiritual beauty in a contempo­rary language expressed by a female poet who hails from the land where the Blessed Prophet was born, carried out his prophetic mission and died."

- Seyyed Hossein Nasr

From the Inside Flap

"Nimah Nawwab's poetry invites the reader to delve into the expanse of the Creator's greatness and grace. It also challenges the readers to examine the reaches of their own souls and experience spiritual serenity and radiance."
- Tayyibah Taylor
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of Azizah Magazine
 
"Nimah is such a questing spirit. We will probably never find the thing we seek, but the quest is validated by the love and desire we put into it. This is the joy of the seeker who never finds and, not finding, finds. These poems are echoes of the Feryad, the spirit's cry: "Help me! I am here, find me!" Read the poems and be there too."
- Mohamed Zakariya
 A preeminent ambassador of the art of Islamic calligraphy in USA
 
"Echoing the traditional Arabic devotional poetry and song of an Ibn al-Farid or Ibn al-'Arabi, Nimah Nawwab's heartfelt, spare, and moving English verses recreate the fire, longing, inspiration, and piercing metaphysical insight of those spiritual classics in a fresh and distinctive contemporary voice, like the intimate yearn­ing heart of the mystic's solitary night-vigil."
 
-Prof. James Morris
Department of Theology, Boston College and President of the Rumi Institute's international advisory council
 
 
"In the days of old, merchants, mystics, and travelers traveled via caravans in quest of riches from this world and the Beyond. They would stop periodically in "stations" to lighten their load, refresh their spirits, and prepare the journey ahead. In this magnificent collection of inspired and inspiring poetry, we as readers are taken along such a journey. Every poem of the remarkable poet Nimah Nawwab, who hails from the land of the House of God and carries the fragrance of the Blessed Prophet, serves as a station for readers to pause, reflect, and replenish our heart and souls. As is befitting of the poetry of the classical Sufi tradition, these poems use the richest of daily symbols to beckon us to return again and again to that majestic and celestial Home that is at once our Origin and our Destination."
- Omid Safi,
Professor of Islamic Studies, University of North Carolina
Author of Memories of Muhammad: Why the Prophet Matters 

More About the Author

A voice from an ancient land, her work is both regional and global.

Her widely-read articles and essays have been translated from English into Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese and Arabic including others.

Recognized as a 'Voice for Arab Women and Youth', she is engaged with critical and emerging issues involving youth empowerment, leadership, the arts and family issues. She seeks to build bridges of understanding as well as global peace and rapport.

She is an a published English writer, best-selling poet, editor, social/women's and youth empowerment activist, Young Global Leader, an internationally recognized lecturer, photographer, and key note speaker. Descended from a long line of scholars form Mecca, Saudi Arabia she is based in Arabia.

Topics in her highly interactive lectures and workshops is wide ranging from economy and leadership, education reform, the middle east and women, art and cultural heritage, the role of media, youth empowerment, to Islam and interfaith as she takes on the requests of various organizations to deliver special content based upon their needs and audience ages and interests.

The first Saudi Arab woman poet to be published in the United States, her pioneering work, The Unfurling, included a historic, first-of-its-kind public book signing in Arabia and another in Washington D.C.

Nimah's English poetry has been published, translated into numerous languages, included in anthologies and taught at schools and colleges in Arabia, the U.S, Singapore, Japan, India and elsewhere. Her work has been featured in various global anthologies and been the subject of academic papers related to the Middle East, Women's Studies, English Literature and Global Studies.

She is passionate about instilling love and appreciation of writing, poetry, journalism and blogging especially among youth. Nimah has been a poetry judge and facilitator of poetry sessions and workshops in several countries. Her writing and poetry sessions and workshops with adults and youth are geared towards raising the quantity and quality of writing and poetry, instilling a love for writing, appreciation, critiques, performance and presentation of one's work in addition to advice on publishing.


Customer Reviews

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While reading this book, I was going through a difficult time in my life-a divorce.
La Femme
This book reflects on the integral relationship between salat/namaz and the blessed Prophet's ascension.
H. Talat Halman
Ya Kaliq , Ya Shakur.... Prayers and Ocean Blessings on Nimah Nawwabs' inspired writings.
Allan McGuire

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By H. Talat Halman on May 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading these sensitive, subtle, spiritual poems in this physically beautiful is like entering into Salat/Namaz & tafakkur (meditation). This is the work of a poet who extracts the music underlying language. These poems present an intimate relationship to God as the Beloved, al-Habib (p. 80), or as "The Friend" (p. 80). As soon as I entered the world of The Canvas of the Soul, I was abducted into its sensitivity, beauty, and power. The hal (spiritual state[s]) of the writing is a blessing of elevation to the heights of exaltation and sensitivity to the depths of peace and tranquility. These poems, like prayers, carry us into serenity, tranquility, and quietude. Also tranquilly beautiful is the "Foreword" by Shems Friedlander.

Now having read her poems, I take Nimah Niwab's socially-inscribed title as "poetess" to serve as a short hand for "poet-essence," since each phrase on its own and in its synergy is an adhan (call to prayer) of the heart. These are poems that Saint Francis, Saint Therese de Avila, and Saint John of the Cross would have wanted to write. Each of these poems reflects a courageous open-hearted soul-baring courage to share the inner states and stations of the soul. It is fitting that Nimah Nawwab carries the middle name of Isma'il because, as the name means, she is a "listener." She hears the music of the subtle spheres and listens to the signs of God in the most intimate places. The title poem gives one good example:

Rising up from the scorched ground
rise up, rise up
bathe yourself
in the raindrops of blessings
step out into the rainbow of serenity
and inhale the aroma of blossoming acceptance
as the canvas of your soul
explodes in radiant colors
beyond our unseeing eyes.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By La Femme on May 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
Canvas of the Soul is a book of poetry like no other. I find it captivating and very insightful. I find inspiration in the written words that seem to be spoken in such a peaceful and harmonious way. You are drawn to the poems because each one seems to encompass a certain peace that the soul needs for relaxation and comfort.
While reading this book, I was going through a difficult time in my life-a divorce. Times such as these, we look for comfort and peace so that everything can make sense. The poetry touches one's heart in a spiritual way that helps through whatever we may going through or perhaps just to find peace in our busy days.
My favorite poem thus far is The Arena. It reflects so much of my life at this time.

The Arena

Come, come face to face
with yourself
rekindle the flame of truth.
Look past the frayed, the marred
the stain of imposed dictated musts
let the chambers, walls and doors
implode into a new arena
where the face to face
brings forth a rebirth
and the Path Maker supersedes all.

This is simply one of the poems. I highly recommend everyone to buy this book. This is not a book that you will easily "misplace" or "forget" about. You will be changed. The artistry inside the book is also amazingly captivating.
Thank you for writing such masterpieces that they could change someone's life by a simple moment of peace.
La Femme
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Allan McGuire on May 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thank you dear Nimah Ismail Nawwab, dear sister on the journey. So very illumining/illumined is this gift and that is just from reading a few of the beautiful poems in her book, there are thankfully still more to read . There is this rich blossoming of the spirit amidst evey page and word within word and worlds, then the weaving in layers of magic is quite the welcome surprise! The artwork of the pages is delicate,is intricate with flowers and cultural design,that calls forth the soul of Arabia.Ya Kaliq , Ya Shakur.... Prayers and Ocean Blessings on Nimah Nawwabs' inspired writings.What a blessing we are here to get to share such beauty!

Sophia (Zakiah) Virginia McGuire, Reverend/Author/Poet,Artist, Healer
sophiasheartsong@yahoo.com
facebook Sophia Virginia Mcguire
poetry and artwork of personal journeys as well as the global sacred journey
1995 -2012 to current works
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I worked in Saudi Arabia for ARAMCO and for a Defense Company. I knew the Authors of these books. They were not just book writers, they performed very important jobs and services in the KSA. Very interesting to read years later and identifying people, places, things and events. Some of the terminology, colloquial language is characteristically Saudi.
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