Adonis: Selected Poems

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Yale University Press, 2010 - Poetry - 399 pages
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Born in Syria in 1930, Adonis is one of the most celebrated poets of the Arabic-speaking world. His poems have earned international acclaim, and his influence on Arabic literature has been likened to that of T. S. Eliot’s on English-language verse. This volume serves as the first comprehensive survey of Adonis’s work, allowing English readers to admire the arc of a remarkable literary career through the labors of the poet’s own handpicked translator, Khaled Mattawa.

Experimental in form and prophetic in tone, Adonis’s poetry sings exultantly of both the sweet promise of eros and the lingering problems of the self. Steeped in the anguish of exile and the uncertainty of existence, Adonis demonstrates the poet’s profound affection for Arabic and European lyrical traditions even as his poems work to destabilize those very aesthetic and moral sensibilities. This collection positions the work of Adonis within the pantheon of the great poets of exile, including C sar Vallejo, Joseph Brodsky, and Paul Celan, providing for English readers the most complete vision yet of the work of the man whom the cultural critic Edward Said called “today’s most daring and provocative Arab poet.”

 

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Contents

Home
8
Songs 0flIi1ar 0fDamascus 1961
23
Flower ofAlchemy
59
Tree
72
5
85
This Is My Name
107
Body
125
Search
175
CelebratingAbu Ta1nma111
267
CelebratingAlMaari
274
Another Alphclbéi 1994
283
Concerto for the Road to Dantes
297
Concerto for 11thSeptember2001
303
Concerto for the Veiled Christ
315
Imagine a Poet
322
us in cities
336

The Beginning of Sex II
188
The Beginning ofNarration
192
Persons
203
Candlelight
209
The Child Running Inside Memory
222
Desire Moving Through Maps
229
The Cradle excerpt
250
Celebrating Childhood
259
Maybe
342
I dont love you except for that I hated
348
I check my house at night
352
Dusk takes time by the throat
358
A barrier between us
364
What is he saying?
370
NOTES
395
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About the author (2010)

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.

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