Questions and their retinue
Hatif Janabi's poems are passionate, jolting, apocalyptic, and painful. They deal with war and death, perception and truth, drawing from his family life, his exile in Poland, the Gulf War, violence in Iraq, and his experience in the United States. The speaker in many of Janabi's poems moves from a confrontational stance to one of resigned desperation, and from coyness to deep longing, where, occasionally, hope surfaces. The associative processes and the often bizarre surreal imagery he employs are very effective in expressing his profound sense of political and spiritual alienation. Janabi is among a generation of Arab poets who, because of censorship, can speak only obliquely about the harsh reality of their lives. In these poems he has created symbolic landscapes that attempt to reveal the political, social, and psychological stresses with which suffering people live.
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Poems without a Shelter
The Pickaxe of Childhood
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Arabic literature Arkansas Press awarded Baghdad became befriended Beware blood body burn California State University call a stone chased childhood children's belts clothes cloud comfort the shocked Connecticut Review cried dance dark date palm dead death despair dramatic draw imaginary steps dream dust earth echo England Review English exile eyes fleeing flicking its tongue hand hang Hatif lanabi head heart herds hope Indiana Review Iraq Khaled Mattawa Kirkuk lanabi was born lanabi's poems lanabi's poetry limbs living loaf of bread lovers Meadow memory mountain goats Najaf naked nightmare old age pass patience Pharaoh's army Playing the Skull poet poison Poland prairie prairie-e-e-e Pushcart Prizes rain ribs road scream searches Shiite snake flicking someone song soul speaker stares stars storm surreal take a pen translate trees University of Arkansas wall Warsaw University wave weeps whisper wind wings woman women woodpeckers words wound wrapped write