Badr Shakir al-Sayyab is one of the most important names in modern Iraqi poetry — and indeed modern Arabic poetry. The poet, who died in 1964 at just 38, shook the poetic world with his verse. Translator, scholar, and author Dr. Issa Boullata, whose PhD dissertation became a book on al-Sayyab, answered a few questions about the poet’s life and work.
The Iraqi ministry of culture announced recently that the family home of poet Badr Shaker al-Sayyab (1926-1969) will be turned into a cultural forum. The al-Sayyab home is in Jaikour, about 20 kilometers south of Basra. It will reportedly be renovated and turned into both a “cultural forum” and a museum. According to Al Shorfa, Abdul Qader al-Jumaily, director … Continue reading Home of Iraqi Poet Badr Shaker al-Sayyab To Become ‘Cultural Forum’
“A poet dies twice: once when he publishes, and once when a statue is erected to him.” So said Iraqi poet Mahmoud al-Braikan, in a speech in memory of the great Badr Shakir al-Sayyab.
“Saadi Youssef, in his introduction to the translation of Song of Myself, criticizes those who described Whitman as a “Sufi” poet, but he uses mystic language in his translation of Whitman’s masterpiece. It’s fascinating how a text was read and transformed into different forms and styles.”
“Poetry brought a certain degree of cultural legitimacy to politicians, who simultaneously cultivated the support of prominent poets and feared the repercussions of their failure to do so.”
Here they are the words fluttering in the mind/
There’s a land in the mind with a heavenly name the words carry.
A few of the authors and translators who left us in 2019.
Palestinian literary scholar, author, educator, and translator Dr. Issa J Boullata died peacefully on May 1, 2019 at the age of 90.
The towering, generation-defining Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008) was born on this day in al-Birwa.
For these lists-of-ten, ArabLit is interviewing scholars, critics, and translators, and other bibliocentrics about the Arabic Literature in translation they would recommend for US’s public libraries.
Moger described the distinctive approach they took to translating Ibn Arabi, attempting to treat each poem as an individual text without embedding it in a scholarly apparatus.
“Today is World Poetry Day — and the birthday of Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) — and thus ArabLit will take an exceptionally eclectic & arguably nonsense tour of the entire history of Arabic poetry in English translation, based on what’s available free online in at least a good (and preferably fantastic) translation.”