Cover image for Love, death, and exile
Love, death, and exile
Bayātī, ʻAbd al-Wahhāb.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Poems. Selections. English
Bilingual edition.
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Georgetown University Press, 2004.

Physical Description:
xi, 314 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Arabic and English.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PJ7816.A92 A23 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Called "a major innovator in his art form" by The New York Times , Baghdad-born poet Abdul Wahab Al-Bayati broke with over fifteen centuries of Arabic poetic tradition to write in free verse and became world famous in the process. Love, Death, and Exile: Poems Translated from Arabic is a rare, bilingual facing-page edition in both the original Arabic text and a highly praised English translation by Bassam K. Frangieh, containing selections from eight of Al-Bayati's books of poetry.

Forced to spend much of his life in exile from his native Iraq, Al-Bayati created poetry that is not only revolutionary and political, but also steeped in mysticism and allusion, moving and full of longing. This collection is a superb introduction to Al-Bayati, Arabic language, and Arabic literature and culture as well.

On Al-Bayati's death in 1999, The New York Times obituary quoted him as saying once that his many years of absence from his homeland had been a "tormenting experience" that had great impact on his poetry. "I always dream at night that I am in Iraq and hear its heart beating and smell its fragrance carried by the wind, especially after midnight when it's quiet."

Author Notes

Abdul Wahab Al-Bayati is a world renowned poet whose career has spanned many decades. Born in Baghdad in 1926, he is known as the pioneer of the Arab free verse movement. his work is steeped in mysticism and allusion and its language is rich and subtle. Departing from classical forms in substance as well as in structure, he writes of the experience of alienation in the contemporary Arab city, of dreams of transcendent love, of nobility in death, and of the uncertainty, pain, and rootlessness of exile. This collection is the first English translation and the first bilingual edition of his work to be published in the United States.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
The Eyes of the Dead Dogs (1969)p. 15
The Cityp. 17
Lament for the June Sunp. 21
Something About Happinessp. 29
Writing on Clay (1970)p. 33
The Magusp. 35
The Nightmare of Night and Dayp. 39
Elegy to the Unborn Cityp. 43
Three Watercolorsp. 45
Love Poems at the Seven Gates of the World (1971)p. 51
Eye of the Sunp. 53
About Waddah of Yemen--Love and Deathp. 63
Love Poems at the Seven Gates of the Worldp. 73
Aisha's Mad Loverp. 83
The Book of the Sea (1973)p. 97
Metamorphoses of Netrocres in the Book of the Deadp. 99
The Princess and the Gypsyp. 109
The Lady of the Seven Moonsp. 117
The Loverp. 125
Autobiography of the Thief of Fire (1974)p. 129
Labor Painsp. 131
Poems on Separation and Deathp. 139
The Earthquakep. 145
The Gypsy Symphonyp. 153
Shiraz's Moon (1975)p. 159
For Rafael Albertip. 161
Reading From The Book Of Al-Tawasin By Al-Hallajp. 169
Death and the Lampp. 177
Portrait of the Lover of the Great Bearp. 185
The Greek Poemp. 189
I Am Born and Burn in My Lovep. 197
Shiraz's Moonp. 209
Love Under the Rainp. 219
The Kingdom of Grain (1979)p. 233
Light Comes From Granadap. 235
First Symphony of the Fifth Dimensionp. 243
Variations On The Suffering Of Farid Al-Din Al-Attarp. 249
I Shall Reveal My Love For You to the Wind and the Treesp. 257
Aisha's Orchard (1989)p. 265
Elegy to Khalil Hawip. 267
From the Papers of Aishap. 271
Another Paperp. 273
The Fire of Poetryp. 275
False Criticsp. 279
The Birth in Unborn Citiesp. 279
The Blind Singerp. 281
A Smoke Dancerp. 281
The Birthp. 283
Aisha's Orchardp. 283
Aisha's Profilep. 287
The Deceiverp. 289
The Facep. 289
The Great Wall of Chinap. 291
A Womanp. 291
Al-Basrap. 293
The Unknown Manp. 297
The Peacockp. 297
The Poemp. 299
A Man and a Womanp. 301
A Profile of a Cityp. 303
Secret of Firep. 305
A Conversation of a Stonep. 307
Glossaryp. 309