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The Country Without a Post Office: Poems Hardcover – April 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc; First Edition edition (April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393040577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393040579
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,271,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This is the seventh book of poetry by Ali (A Nostalgist's Map of America, Norton, 1992), director of the writing program at the University of Massachusetts. The book is a poignant, nostalgic evocation of Kashmir, Ali's homeland, with a special emphasis on the events since 1990 when Kashmir rebelled against Indian rule. At the center of this devastation, with "mass rapes in the villages/ towns left in cinders," is the desecration in 1995 of the shrine of Sheikh Noor-ud-Din, the patron saint of Kashmir. This Hindu-Moslem conflict reminds Ali of similar genocidal wars in Bosnia and Armenia. But in Kashmir the blood of victims falls like "rubies/ on Himalayan snow" while "guns shoot stars into the sky." Kashmiri myth and culture hang like a tapestry around the poems, dramatizing the importance of saffron, paisley, the Shalimar Gardens and the ghazal (folk songs). Ali also alludes to Tacitus, Yeats, Dickinson, Shakespeare, and Eliot. With the population decimated and the post office destroyed, Ali's poems become "cries like dead letters," and the poet becomes "keeper of the minaret." Essential for all large collections.?Daniel L. Guillory, Millikin Univ., Decatur, Ill.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

A strong and vibrant work, particularly in these tragic times. -- John Ashbery

After The August Wedding In Lahore, Pakistan
At The Museum
The City Of Daughters: A Poem About Kashmir
The Correspondent
The Country Without A Post Office
Death Row
Farewell
A Fate's Brief Memoir
First Day Of Spring
The Floating Post Office
A Footnote To History
Ghazal (3)
Ghazal (4)
Ghazal (5)
Hans Christian Ostro
A History Of Paisley
I Dream I Am The Only Passenger On Flight 423 To Srinagar
I See Kashmir From New Delhi At Midnight
The Last Saffron
Lo, A Tint Cashmere! Lo, A Rose!
Muharram In Srinagar, 1992
A Pastoral
Return To Harmony 3
Some Vision Of The World Cashmere
Son Et Lumiere At Shalimar Garden
A Villanelle
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®

Agha Shahid Ali's Kashmir, in his poems, is our own lost but inalienable homeland. . . . But the grace and wit, the perceptions and illuminations they serve, their accent, are his own. -- W. S. Merwin

Combining humane elegance and moral passion, Ali speaks for Kashmir in a large, generous, compassionate, powerful and urgent voice. . . . Few poets in this country have such a voice or such a topic. -- Hayden Carruth

Extraordinary formal precision and virtuosity. . . . This is poetry whose appeal is universal, its voice unerringly eloquent. A marvelous achievement. -- Edward Said

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By brigid o'shaughnessy on March 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
i stumbled upon this by accident and will never forget it. without a doubt, my all-time favorite book of poetry.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Agah Shahid, having come from the unfortunate valley, a living hell for its inhabitants and indeed a paradise on earth has chosen the most appropriate title. Today what Kashmir needs is indeed a post office, a post office which would open and facilitate dialogue. It indeed comes as a relief to hear about Kashmir and all that it stands for and not violence and death these days. One can only wish there were more Shahids from Kashmir who could lend there voice for Kashmir. Agah brings out the essence of Kashmir in his work. A must for anyone who is interested in Kashmir.
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5 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Kashmir is truly a paradise on earth. It's called Switzerland within India. Kashmir needs peace. I happened to be in Houston when Mr. Shahid Ali an Indian American poet with roots in Kashmir, India read his poems at the Brown Auditorium in the Houston culture district.
Its sad to see Kashmiri people (Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims ) being refugees in their own country. Pakistan should stop this proxy war and stop infiltrating extemists trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Shahid said " We artsy folks derive pure pleasure from simply shocking the audience. Lord Byron did it, Oscar Wilde did it and the master manipulator Shakespeare set the standards. What was clear in Shahid's manner was his complete arrogance and lack of respect for the audience intermingled with humility that would take the time to come. says Minoo Shah. His readings were spiced with humorous anecdotes.
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1 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a rather touching book about Kashmir.I feel it is very good and srtongly recommend it as something to read occaisonaly when you are feeling liberal
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5 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
How can a country have no post office? The idea is so far off I cant believe anyone would write a book about it. And the poems? They're really boring, full of hard to pronounce words and I think lots of forms. I asked a friend of mine she writes poems and posts them on AOL about the title and she said it was a metaphor, but I still think its a bad idea to call a book after somethingpeople won't understand. My friend didn't understand the forms either.
Its a pretty book, though, with nice paper. Looks good on the shelf. All in all, I'm glad this book was a gift, I sure would hate to buy it with my own money.
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