Soon, no doubt, Google will come out with its first book-length edition of translated poetry.
Translations of work by Tunisian poet Abu al-Qassim al-Shabbi (أبو القاسم الشابي) continue to make their way around the Internet, mostly as a symbol of hope and change, less so as renewed interest in the poet himself. Many of these translations are repeats of the anonymous Wikipedia version of “To the Tyrants of the World” or of As’ad Abu Khalil’s rendition of the poem he titles “The Will of Life.” But there have been other attempts as well.
No one has yet submitted a re-translation of “To the Tyrants of the World.” However, we are having a miniature translation slam for Abu al-Qasim al-Shabi’s most famous work.
Arabic Poetry Friday: Beirut39er Nazem Elsayed, Coptic Egyptian Poets, Translating Abboud al Jabiri, More
Over on The Arabophile, poet/novelist/critic Youssef Rakha makes his way through and around two books by the young Lebanese poet Nazem Elsayed, one of the poetic standouts of the Beirut39 group.
Yesterday on The Huffington Post, Anis Shivani introduced three emerging poets who have books scheduled for release in early 2011. One of them was the Palestinian-American poet Deema Shehabi, whose debut collection, Thirteen Departures from the Moon, is set to come out from Press 53 in March.
Was the Arab Novel Prize Given to Al-Koni for Bad Reasons? (And Then, We’ll Forget All That And Talk Poetry)
Let’s grit our teeth and get this over with: Did (the extremely talented and worthy) Ibrahim al-Koni win Egypt’s “Arab Novel Prize” because judging chair Gaber Asfour wanted to return a chit to Moammar Ghaddafi? After all, Libya awarded Asfour the Ghaddafi Prize for International Literature earlier this year.
Over at Ron Slate’s website, On the Seawall, he asked nineteen poets to recommend new and recent titles for holiday gift-giving purposes.
While I certainly respect the sentiment, readers over at ArabLit are free to buy the below-listed books for themselves.
Don’t get me wrong: I think that crossing true red lines and discussing subjects that are considered “out of bounds” has a real place in art and literature, most particularly if this line-crossing is done with an original aesthetic sense.
In Mahmoud Darwish’s Journal of an Ordinary Grief–published in 1973 as Yawmiyyat al-Huzn al-‘Adi and now available in English translation–the narrator shapes his personal, Palestinian memories against the insistent push of Israeli and Western-dominated history. The book thus presents itself not as an official record, but as a collection of individual wounds.
So I find myself alternately intrigued and wary of the work produced by the Poetry Translation Project, which, in their words, “take a translator’s literal translation of a living poet’s work & together we turn it into a good poem in English.”
The Syrian poet Adonis (Ali Ahmad Said Asbar) appeared last night in one of the culminating events of the London Poetry Festival. Adonis read along with translatorStephen Watts and fellow poet Yang Lian.
Which is was why I was particularly grateful that the British-Libyan poet, surgeon, and blogger Ghazi Gheblawi recorded his impressions of last night’s Tamim Barghouti, Mourid Barghouti, Ahdaf Soueif event via Twitter.