“yes, the sea changes colors / drinking the yellow of my doubt and distrust / turning as blue as my melody / my songs and ships set sail on its scattered waves”
‘Abdulwāḥid Lu’lu’a is discussing Nāzik Al-Malā’ika’s poems on 1/28, 6:00pm–7:00pm GMT, from Cambridge. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83547890773?pwd=aVcxTTU5Nk02dGQxeXZrTi8zM3Zndz09&fbclid=IwAR0HCOMqcquriLLG5VeXmuQvbuSBlM3mDZzJUsA9P9IIkvN7ORqJyzn8Sk4#success
The Brown University event is set for 12 – 1 p.m. EST on February 3, 2021. You can register to attend the webinar or follow on YouTube.
In this episode, we are joined by scholar and translator Emily Drumsta to discuss her new bilingual collection of al-Mala’ika’s poetry, Revolt Against the Sun.
Includes the perfect hot-and-sweet late-summer story from Muhammad al-Hajj, in pitch-perfect translation by Yasmine Zohdi.
My girl, the storm knows nothing, though it rages, raves, and shrieks,
Have mercy on your heart, for these shadows will never speak.
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.
Yet Iraqi literature continues, somehow, to blossom. There are older writers Fadhil al-Azzawi and Muhammad Khudayyir still at work (although the former in exile), and much younger ones, too: Thirtysomething Iraqi Hassan Blassim has been called “perhaps the best writer of Arabic fiction alive.”