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Adonis: Selected Poems (The Margellos World Republic of Letters) Hardcover – October 19, 2010
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“Adonis, born Ali Ahmad Said Esber in the Alaouite village of Qassabin in western Syria in 1930, is recognized as one of the most important poets and theorists of literature in the Arab world, and one of the most important contemporary poets and poetic thinkers in any language or context. His influence on Arabic poetry can be compared with that of Pound or Eliot on poetry in English, combined, however, with a radical and secular critique of his society. His poetry is widely known and available in Europe, in many languages and multiple translations. Khaled Mattawa , one of the best and most audacious younger American poets, also a brilliant, knowledgeable translator, has worked for two decades, latterly with the collaboration of Adonis, on a collection that will represent his scope, his thought , his linguistic daring and innovation to Anglophone readers. This magisterial anthology, covering more than fifty years of work, marked with the poet’s 'epic scope and lyrical precision,' will indelibly mark his presence alongside world poets like Milosz, Akhmatova, Darwish, Neruda, Amichai and Bonnefoy.”—Marilyn Hacker
(Marilyn Hacker 2010-07-20)
About the Author
Adonis (born Ali Ahmad Said Esber) is an award-winning Syrian poet and essayist who led the modernist movement in Arabic poetry in the second half of the twentieth century. He has written more than twenty books in his native Arabic, including the pioneering work An Introduction to Arab Poetics. He lives in Paris. Khaled Mattawa is assistant professor of language and literature at the University of Michigan and the author of the poetry volumes Ismaila Eclipse and Zodiac of Echoes.
Top Customer Reviews
Although not complete, this selection of poems is vast. Most major texts are represented, many very generously. I have only come across three poetry books by Adonis published in English, so for English readers, it doesn't get any better than this. Also, the translations are superb. I compared some lines of translation in this text with a previous publication that I have of Songs of Mihyar of Damascus. This one reads better. I don't read Arabic, and the Arabic version of the poems are not are provided (an asset as the book is a nice size to hold), so I can't pretend to compare it to the original.
One surprise is that "A Grave For New York" is not included. I'm not sure why. This is my favorite of all of Adonis' poems. It could be because it has been translated in several other collections. Or it could be because of personal preference. "A Grave For New York" can be found in A Time Between Ashes and Roses, The Pages of Day and Night, and Modern Arabic Poetry (Salma Khadra Jayyusi); all are excellent volumes. On the flip side, there are plenty of new gems that can't be found elsewhere spanning 1957-2008. And unlike many poets, his early poems do not disappoint.
If you haven't read Adonis, you are missing out, and this would be a wonderful place to start. His poems are surreal, powerful, lyrical, natural, mythic, experimental and a mixture of long and short.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
These are remarkable poems and a must read. The composer Zaid Jabri has set two of these to music for the Stuttgart Neue Vocalsolisten.Published on May 10, 2014 by whysee