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 CÚsar 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

The End of the Sly
29
First Poems 1957 Spell
35
The Banished 9 A Bridge of Tears
41
A Blood Offering
47
Songs of Mihyar of Damascus 1961 Spell
53
Flower of Alchemy
59
Tree
72
Rage
85
Matter
229
The Cradle excerpt
250
1933
259
Celebrating Abu Tammam
267
Celebrating AlMaari
274
In the Embrace of Another Alphabet
283
PTOfl1 Sy O Blind One 2003
297
Concerto for 11thSeptember2oo1
303

His Voice 26
87
This ls My Name
107
Body
125
Search
175
The Beginning of Sex II
188
The Beginning of Narration
192
Persons
203
Candlelight
209
The Child Running Inside Memory
222
Concerto for the Veiled Christ
315
Imagine a Poet
322
Each love is a misery
341
Lets return
347
I check my house at night Printer ofthe Planets BOOI8 2008
353
The Stars at Hand 386
361
Sunset
367
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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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