Cover image for Unfortunately, it was paradise : selected poems
Title:
Unfortunately, it was paradise : selected poems
Author:
Darwīsh, Maḥmūd.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Poems. Selections. English
Publication Information:
Berkeley : University of California Press, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
xix, 191 pages ; 22 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780520237537

9780520237544
Format :
Book

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PJ7820.A7 A22 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Mahmoud Darwish is a literary rarity: at once critically acclaimed as one of the most important poets in the Arabic language, and beloved as the voice of his people. He is a living legend whose lyrics are sung by fieldworkers and schoolchildren. He has assimilated some of the world's oldest literary traditions at the same time that he has struggled to open new possibilities for poetry. This collection spans Darwish's entire career, nearly four decades, revealing an impressive range of expression and form. A splendid team of translators has collaborated with the poet on these new translations, which capture Darwish's distinctive voice and spirit.


Summary

Mahmoud Darwish is a literary rarity: at once critically acclaimed as one of the most important poets in the Arabic language, and beloved as the voice of his people. He is a living legend whose lyrics are sung by fieldworkers and schoolchildren. He has assimilated some of the world's oldest literary traditions at the same time that he has struggled to open new possibilities for poetry. This collection spans Darwish's entire career, nearly four decades, revealing an impressive range of expression and form. A splendid team of translators has collaborated with the poet on these new translations, which capture Darwish's distinctive voice and spirit.


Author Notes

Arab poet Mahmoud Darwish was born on March 15, 1941. He was considered the Palestinian national poet and won numerous awards for his work including the 1969 Lotus Prize, the 1983 Lenin Peace Prize, and the 2001 Lannan Foundation Prize for Cultral Freedom. His best known work was Identity Card (1964). He also edited the journal Al Karmel and wrote the Palestinian declaration of independent statehood. He died from complications of heart surgery on August 9, 2008.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Arab poet Mahmoud Darwish was born on March 15, 1941. He was considered the Palestinian national poet and won numerous awards for his work including the 1969 Lotus Prize, the 1983 Lenin Peace Prize, and the 2001 Lannan Foundation Prize for Cultral Freedom. His best known work was Identity Card (1964). He also edited the journal Al Karmel and wrote the Palestinian declaration of independent statehood. He died from complications of heart surgery on August 9, 2008.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

When Darwish's selected The Adam of Two Edens was published by Syracuse in late 2000, the second Palestinian intifada was not yet bound up in "the war on terror," and the book did not get much play, perhaps partially due to its disparate translations (and an uninviting cover). That should not be the case with this second selection of work by the poet often spoken of as the national poet of Palestine. Darwish, who lived more than 25 years in exile from his native Haifa, is currently living in Ramallah, and these selections, covering five books and 20 or so years, are uncompromising and powerful. Akash is the editor of Jusoor: The Arab American Journal of Cultural Exchange and co-editor of Post Gibran: An Anthology of New Arab American Writing (2000), but the key here is Forch (The Angel of History, etc.), who brings out the thorny immediacy and consistency in Darwish's complex linguistic negotiations of deeply contested places-places on the earth and in the mind. It is difficult to summarize those spaces here, but suffice to say that Darwish, as rendered in this English-only edition, demands, and sustains, serious reading and discussion, as in the magisterial long poem "Mural" from 2000: "I will dream, not to correct any meaning beyond me,/ but to heal the inner desolation of its terrible drought." (Jan.) Forecast: Darwish won the Lannan Foundation's $350,000 Prize for Cultural Freedom last year, and the foundation also underwrote this edition. Darwish was profiled last December in the New York Times; expect serious review attention for this book, and extensive attention to Darwish himself, though he is unlikely to travel to the U.S. as the book pubs. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Publisher's Weekly Review

When Darwish's selected The Adam of Two Edens was published by Syracuse in late 2000, the second Palestinian intifada was not yet bound up in "the war on terror," and the book did not get much play, perhaps partially due to its disparate translations (and an uninviting cover). That should not be the case with this second selection of work by the poet often spoken of as the national poet of Palestine. Darwish, who lived more than 25 years in exile from his native Haifa, is currently living in Ramallah, and these selections, covering five books and 20 or so years, are uncompromising and powerful. Akash is the editor of Jusoor: The Arab American Journal of Cultural Exchange and co-editor of Post Gibran: An Anthology of New Arab American Writing (2000), but the key here is Forch (The Angel of History, etc.), who brings out the thorny immediacy and consistency in Darwish's complex linguistic negotiations of deeply contested places-places on the earth and in the mind. It is difficult to summarize those spaces here, but suffice to say that Darwish, as rendered in this English-only edition, demands, and sustains, serious reading and discussion, as in the magisterial long poem "Mural" from 2000: "I will dream, not to correct any meaning beyond me,/ but to heal the inner desolation of its terrible drought." (Jan.) Forecast: Darwish won the Lannan Foundation's $350,000 Prize for Cultural Freedom last year, and the foundation also underwrote this edition. Darwish was profiled last December in the New York Times; expect serious review attention for this book, and extensive attention to Darwish himself, though he is unlikely to travel to the U.S. as the book pubs. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsMunir Akash
IntroductionMunir Akash and Carolyn Forcheacute
FROM Fewer Roses (1986) I Will Slog over This Road
Another Road in the Road
Were It Up to Me to Begin Again
On This Earth
I Belong There
Addresses for the Soul, outside This Place
Earth Presses against Us
We Journey towards a Home
We Travel Like All People
Athens Airport
I Talk Too Much
We Have the Right to Love Autumn
The Last Train Has Stopped
On the Slope, Higher Than the Sea, They Slept
He Embraces His Murderer
Winds Shift against Us
Neighing on the Slope
Other Barbarians Will Come
They Would Love to See Me Dead
When the Martyrs Go to Sleep
The Night There
We Went to Aden
Another Damascus in Damascus
The Flute Cried
In This Hymn
FROM I See What I Want to See (1993) The Hoopoe
FROM Why Have You Left the Horse Alone? (1995) I See My Ghost Coming from Afar
A Cloud in My Hands
The Kindhearted Villagers
The Owl's Night
The Everlasting Indian Fig
The Lute of Ismael
The Strangers' Picnic
The Raven's Ink
Like the Letter "N" in the Qur'an
Ivory Combs
The Death of the Phoenix
Poetic Regulations
Excerpts from the Byzantine Odes of Abu Firas
The Dreamers Pass from One Sky to Another
A Rhyme for the Odes (Mu'allaqat)
Night That Overflows My Body
The Gypsy Woman Has a Tame Sky
FROM A Bed for the Stranger (1999) We Were without a Present
Sonnet II
The Stranger Finds Himself in the Stranger
The Land of the Stranger, the Serene Land
Inanna's Milk
Who Am I, without Exile?
Lesson from the Kama Sutra
Mural (2000) Mural
Three Poems (before 1986) A Soldier Dreams of White Tulips
As Fate Would Have It
Four Personal Addresses
Glossary
AcknowledgmentsMunir Akash
IntroductionMunir Akash and Carolyn Forche
FROM Fewer Roses (1986) I Will Slog over This Road
Another Road in the Road
Were It Up to Me to Begin Again
On This Earth
I Belong There
Addresses for the Soul, outside This Place
Earth Presses against Us
We Journey towards a Home
We Travel Like All People
Athens Airport
I Talk Too Much
We Have the Right to Love Autumn
The Last Train Has Stopped
On the Slope, Higher Than the Sea, They Slept
He Embraces His Murderer
Winds Shift against Us
Neighing on the Slope
Other Barbarians Will Come
They Would Love to See Me Dead
When the Martyrs Go to Sleep
The Night There
We Went to Aden
Another Damascus in Damascus
The Flute Cried
In This Hymn
FROM I See What I Want to See (1993) The Hoopoe
FROM Why Have You Left the Horse Alone? (1995) I See My Ghost Coming from Afar
A Cloud in My Hands
The Kindhearted Villagers
The Owl's Night
The Everlasting Indian Fig
The Lute of Ismael
The Strangers' Picnic
The Raven's Ink
Like the Letter "N" in the Qur'an
Ivory Combs
The Death of the Phoenix
Poetic Regulations
Excerpts from the Byzantine Odes of Abu Firas
The Dreamers Pass from One Sky to Another
A Rhyme for the Odes (Mu'allaqat)
Night That Overflows My Body
The Gypsy Woman Has a Tame Sky
FROM A Bed for the Stranger (1999) We Were without a Present
Sonnet II
The Stranger Finds Himself in the Stranger
The Land of the Stranger, the Serene Land
Inanna's Milk
Who Am I, without Exile?
Lesson from the Kama Sutra
Mural (2000) Mural
Three Poems (before 1986) A Soldier Dreams of White Tulips
As Fate Would Have It
Four Personal Addresses
Glossary