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Articles tagged "Syrian Poetry"

The Art of Expressing One’s Agony: An Interview with M. Raouf Bachir

Mohamed Raouf Bachir was a successful and celebrated writer of short stories in Syria in the sixties and seventies, becoming a member of the state-sponsored Arab Writers Union, on the Story and Novel Committee in 1974, and later honored as the “Sheikh of Aleppo’s Authors.” Now in his eighties, he has gone into exile in Turkey, having lost his home in Aleppo along with its contents, including his entire literary archive, and endured a traumatic exit from his homeland, like...

Autumn Here is Magical and Vast

A bloody shaft of light shone under our door between their compass & the north star so the road passed through our house out toward the estuary. Its stones are our tears which silted in our chests until we spat them out. The road smashed the Janus-faced mirror & flasks of the perfumers and left us nothing but the clouds to dwell in with our mouths, as our pockets, stuffed with sand.  *** Rains taught him how he’d evaporate from the earth’s body. The cat...

In the Doorway of My Friend’s House

I stopped in the doorway of my friend’s house And my palm was glued to the doorbell But my finger trembled, too weak to arouse A desire to ring in its wires I wavered. The road to his house had been long And between the two of us and his morning cups Of coffee, more than ten years. His little brother: he finished copying out his lessons. Their neighbor: perhaps she hadn’t prolonged her visit After his sister May had finished Putting on her dress, and she had turned...

A Note on Syrian Poetry Today

At a moment of simultaneous disintegration and creation, survival looms just where the danger is. What is it like to be Syrian today, when a long ending and an unknown beginning are bloodily mingled? What is it like to live and to die as a stranger in your own country, or as different kind of stranger in exile? How can any poet do justice to the complex emotions and ideas these circumstances have been provoking all over Syria and abroad, since March 2011? Where to find any plausible...

An Alphabetical Formation

Alif You're not beginning . . . It's an eternity, you know . . . I mean, the ever-after, you know No matter, then. Raise your cavalry But do not leave behind the horizon, Or the sea . . . or the soil lines for beginnings, finish me off on a wire. You are not beginning now, watch out . . . anyone who begins is deceived Ba We haven't yet finished the elegy for the century, We haven't exposed blood, flowing from poetry, or a tear from prose,...

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