On Nazik al-Malaika’s 95th: ‘Night Lover’

My girl, the storm knows nothing, though it rages, raves, and shrieks,

Have mercy on your heart, for these shadows will never speak.

On Nazik al-Mala’ika’s Revolutionary Romantic Poetry

Iraqi poet Nazik al-Mala’ika is best known for the important role she played in the development and popularization of Arabic “free verse” (or taf’ila poetry) in the 1950s. But while she is well known as a pioneer, her verse itself is less well-known, and largely absent in translation. Emily Drumstra has translated one of al-Mala’ika’s poems for Jadaliyya, “Revolt Against the Sun,” and is currently at work on another translation. She talked about translating al-Mala’ika.