Read Victims of a Map: A Bilingual Anthology of Arabic Poetry by Mahmoud Darwish Free Online
Book Title: Victims of a Map: A Bilingual Anthology of Arabic Poetry|
The author of the book: Mahmoud Darwish
Edition: Saqi Books
Date of issue: February 1st 2001
ISBN 13: 9780863561122
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 947 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.6
Read full description of the books:
"My era tells me bluntly:
You do not belong.
I answer bluntly:
I do not belong,
I try to understand you.
Now I am a shadow
Lost in the forest
Of a skull." - First stanza of The Desert (The Diary of Beirut Under Siege, 1982) by Adonis.
I usually don't go about dedicating my reviews, but this book is a special case at I read it after a conversation on Goodreads a year ago between myself and the person who (indirectly) recommended this book to me. After expressing my frustration of never learning about writers outside of "The West" in school and especially poets from the middle-east (an area that, as far as literature was concerned, has specialized in poetry since forever) I was given an extensive list of poets and after some quick searching I came across this book which was surprisingly designed to address the very frustration I felt. This book is a straight-forward introduction/sample of 3 of the most significant contemporary (in a relative sense) Arab poets of the last 40 years or so.
This book was published during the mid-1980s when the big conflict in the middle-east was The Lebanon War (I will get back to that later when I talk about Adonis). It features three poets: 2 Palestinians and one Syrian. I will go ahead and briefly review all 3 before giving my opinion on who stood out to me and what I thought of the book overall.
The first poet featured was Mahmud Darwish of Palestine. "A Gentle Rain in a distant autumn
And the birds are blue, are blue,
And the earth is a feast.
Don't say I wish I was a cloud over an airport.
All I want
From my country which fell out of the window of a train
Is my mother's handkerchief
And reasons for a new death." - first stanza of "A Gentle Rain in a Distant Autumn." Two things that the above quote features that I think all 3 poets like is precise use of repetition and use of symbolism and to make a point. What Darwish was a very prominent left-wing poet whose political activism and literature has drawn recognition and criticism across the Arab-Israeli divide. His poetry was unique to me in its use of the senses and memory. I have gotten so use to poets aiming for my psyche that it was amazing to read a poet who so impacted my senses and could describe something and make me see, smell, and taste it. He is also very fond of using nostalgia and memory in his poems in-which he wants you to remember something that happened to him.
The second poet featured is Samih al-Qasim of Palestine. "On the day you kill me
You'll find in my pocket
To the fields and the rain,
To people's conscience.
Don't waste the tickets." - "Travel Tickets" Sometimes, less is more. No poet so exemplifies the previous statement like Samih al-Qasim. Like Mahmud Darwish he is a Palestinian, but unlike Darwsh, he has lived most of his life inside Israel in the town of Hafia and rarely leaves Israel or the Palestinian territories. Both al-Qasim and Darwish were involved in political causes and ran afoul of the Israeli government, but when it comes to poetry things are very different. Where Darwish writes in very descriptive long-form, al-Qasim is sparse, minimal and to the point. His poems may be only two lines, but you will read them over and over because of his mastery of symbolic expression makes you keep wanting to pick up something you thought you missed. His poems are so open to interpretation that you don't know if he is being darkly-comedic or tragic (or both).
And now the man who is basically the headliner of this collection (and for good reason), Adonis (a.k.a. Ali Ahmad Said Esber) of Syria. "The street is a woman who says
The Fatiha when she's grieved
Or makes the sign of the Cross.
Under her breast
The hunchbacked night
Fills his bag
With grey whinning dogs
And snuffed out stars." First stanza of "A Mirror for Beirut (1967)" Maybe the most famous Arab poet of the post-war 20th century, Adonis is definitely the "strongest" poet of the three featured in this book. I would guess that if a contemporary Arab poet is anthologized in "The West" it is him (or maybe Mahmud Darwish). His poetry, while sharing many traits with the two previous poets, is very intentionally styled after modernist poetry. Now I can start using names like T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound and etc., but he also has a connection to the older mystic poetry of Rumi and Kahil Gibran. His poetry reflects the wider Arab world (with an obvious bias towards Syria) and recognizes the presence of Christians in the Arab world (or at least in Syria/Lebanon). The centerpiece of this book is his poem "The Desert" which premiered in the first edition of this collection (which came out in 1984) and is a poetic "diary" of the Siege of Beirut which he was caught up in. If I had to recommend one poem from this book for a first time reader of Arabic poetry "The Desert" would be my choice hands down.
I don't have any real criticism of any of these poets, all of them are the cream of the crop. My personal favorite was Samih al-Qasim whose style and tone nearly hypnotizes me. If pressed I would say that Adonis is the most "mature" of the three and his style may be the most familiar to a western audience, but when it comes to quality I think any of these poets would do nicely. Again, thank you Hend for steering me in the direction of good literature and I hope to one day return the favor.
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Read information about the authorمحمود درويش
Mahmoud Darwish was a respected Palestinian poet and author who won numerous awards for his literary output and was regarded as the Palestinian national poet. In his work, Palestine became a metaphor for the loss of Eden, birth and resurrection, and the anguish of dispossession and exile.
The Lotus Prize (1969; from the Union of Afro-Asian Writers)
Lenin Peace Prize (1983; from the USSR)
The Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (1993; from France)
The Lannan Foundation Prize for Cultural Freedom (2001)
Prince Claus Awards (2004)
"Bosnian stećak" (2007)
Golden Wreath of Struga Poetry Evenings (2007)
The International Forum for Arabic Poetry prize (2007)
محمود درويش هو شاعرٌ فلسطيني وعضو المجلس الوطني الفلسطيني التابع لمنظمة التحرير الفلسطينية، وله دواوين شعرية مليئة بالمضامين الحداثية. ولد عام 1941 في قرية البروة وهي قرية فلسطينية تقع في الجليل قرب ساحل عكا, حيث كانت أسرته تملك أرضًا هناك. خرجت الأسرة برفقة اللاجئين الفلسطينيين في العام 1948 إلى لبنان، ثم عادت متسللة عام 1949 بعد توقيع اتفاقيات الهدنة، لتجد القرية مهدمة وقد أقيم على أراضيها موشاف (قرية زراعية إسرائيلية)"أحيهود". وكيبوتس يسعور فعاش مع عائلته في قرية الجديدة.
بعد إنهائه تعليمه الثانوي في مدرسة يني الثانوية في كفرياسيف انتسب إلى الحزب الشيوعي الإسرائيلي وعمل في صحافة الحزب مثل الإتحاد والجديد التي أصبح في ما بعد مشرفًا على تحريرها، كما اشترك في تحرير جريدة الفجر التي كان يصدرها مبام.
أحد أهم الشعراء الفلسطينيين والعرب الذين ارتبط اسمهم بشعر الثورة والوطن. يعتبر درويش أحد أبرز من ساهم بتطوير الشعر العربي الحديث وإدخال الرمزية فيه. في شعر درويش يمتزج الحب بالوطن بالحبيبة الأنثى. قام بكتابة وثيقة إعلان الاستقلال الفلسطيني التي تم إعلانها في الجزائر.
Tras una juventud dentro de la Palestina ocupada, años salpicados por numerosos arestos, se trasladó a Egipto y después al Líbano para realizar su sueño de renovación poética. Será en su exilio en Paris, tras tener que abandonar forzosamente el Líbano, donde logre su madurez poético y logre un reconocimiento ante los ojos occidentales.
En 1996, tras los acuerdos de Oslo para la autonomía de los territorios de Gaza y Cisjordania, dimite como ministro de Cultura de la Organización para la Liberación de Palestina y regresa a Ramallah. Allí dirige la revista literaria Al Karmel, cuytos archivos fueron destruidos por el ejército israelí durante el asedio a la ciudad en el año 2002.