Kareem James Abu-Zeid Wins NEA Fellowship for Retranslation of ‘Hanging Poems’

Excellent news, as we can really use a new translation of what are the founding poems of Arab culture, predating the Quran, & as the story goes, called “the hanging ones” because sewn into cloth hangings that adorned the Kaaba in Mecca until the Quran displaced them. Poems — odes, or better qasidas — of great formal complexity, very difficult to translate, indeed: I tried my hand at it … Read more Kareem James Abu-Zeid Wins NEA Fellowship for Retranslation of ‘Hanging Poems’

‘Under the Bridge’: The Hierarchy of Translational Labor and Two Poetry Collections

Via Arabic Literature (in English) BY MLYNXQUALEY on OCTOBER 25, 2017 • ( 0 ) M. Lynx Qualey considers the many hands at work behind two collections of Arabic poetry in translation in this review that originally appeared in The Poetry Review, reprinted here with permission: Al-Saddiq al-Raddi, Monkey at the Window, trans. Sarah Maguire and Mark Ford Adnan al-Sayegh, Pages from the Biography of an Exile, trans. Stephen Watts and Marga … Read more ‘Under the Bridge’: The Hierarchy of Translational Labor and Two Poetry Collections

35 Years Later: Memory and Violence in Literary Sabras and Shatilas

 via MLYNXQUALEY  & the always excellent Arabi Literature (in English): on SEPTEMBER 18, 2017 • ( 0 )   It’s now been thirty-five years since the Sabra and Shatila massacres in Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps. It is a site to which literature returns and returns; still attempting, if not to make sense, to make connections, to reformulate the questions. As every year, ArabLit revisits: Most of the literary representations of the … Read more 35 Years Later: Memory and Violence in Literary Sabras and Shatilas

On Translating ‘A’ishah al-Ba’uniyyah, Perhaps Arabic’s Most Prolific Premodern Woman Writer

Saturday Summer Re-runs by MLYNXQUALEY on AUGUST 5, 2017 • ( 0 ) Th. Emil Homerin, editor-translator of the recently-published The Principles of Sufism, has long been interested in the work of ‘A’ishah al-Ba’uniyyah, who is perhaps the most prolific and prominent woman who wrote in Arabic prior to the modern period. Homerin, a professor of religion and former chair of the Department of Religion & Classics at the University … Read more On Translating ‘A’ishah al-Ba’uniyyah, Perhaps Arabic’s Most Prolific Premodern Woman Writer

Leonard Schwartz’s “The New Babel: Toward a Poetics of the Mid-East Crises”

An interesting review of Leonard Schwartz’s book by Kathleen Eamon just appeared on the talisman website. Here the opening paragraphs, link to the full article below: Leonard Schwartz’s The New Babel: Toward a Poetics of the Mid-East Crises (The University of Arkansas Press 2016) is a timely book, emerging at a historical moment that its own capacious political vision lets us find internally related to the crises in question.  Much of it was written in the context … Read more Leonard Schwartz’s “The New Babel: Toward a Poetics of the Mid-East Crises”

Just Out: Ashraf Fayadh’s Instructions Within

Very pleased to be back in New York, despite all — & find my copy of Ashraf Fayadh’s Instructions Within, translated by Mona Kareem (with Mona Zaki & Jonathan Wright) & published by the operating system. And what a rare occasion it is, design-wise: the parti pris of choosing to print this bilingual (Arab-English) edition the way Arabic is read & printed, i.e. from right to left. Also happy to have … Read more Just Out: Ashraf Fayadh’s Instructions Within

A poem by Abu Sakhr al-Hudhali, as transmitted by Abu Ali al-Qali

It gives me great pleasure to publish David Larsen’s translations & introductions on this core text of 8 century poems with 10 century comments from the classical, though unhappily too little known (at least in Euro-American lands) Arab literary tradition. See also his translation of al Sukkari’s version of the same poem on my Jacket2 blog. The curtailment of artistic freedom is an unusual thing to praise. Literary translation … Read more A poem by Abu Sakhr al-Hudhali, as transmitted by Abu Ali al-Qali

BAALBECK by Etel Adnan (4)

20. I will not come back to hear Ella Fitzgerald sing over the columns. Neither will she. 21. Clouds pile up, turn into human forms on the bed of rivers an inscription always dissolves, then appears again, as the sky has already told me. 22. When no one is waiting for us any longer, there’s death, so faithful. 23. Broken souls are not anonymous, no more than the geometry … Read more BAALBECK by Etel Adnan (4)

BAALBECK by Etel Adnan (3)

10. On a wall, a lion was sculpted the first animal I loved was cold the second unveiled the incredible depth of the flesh the stone was from the Orient, love, elsewhere. 11. Watch out for the past, a poison for our fields, for these columns which are trees, regardless of spring or winter. 12. There, abroad, centuries-old oaks have heard Napoleon’s steps climbing the Rhone Valley, to fall, … Read more BAALBECK by Etel Adnan (3)

BAALBECK by Etel Adnan (2)

6. The stream of water running under Ariadne’s temple is the thread leading to the Minotaur – before getting lost in the cotton plantations in the airless labyrinth a living mass is crying, day and night the goddess has left him. I  bring him olives and wine but the god has aged. Aside from me, only the wind knows the way which links Arabia to Greece, and our thoughts … Read more BAALBECK by Etel Adnan (2)