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Arabian Love Poems [Paperback]

Nizar Kabbani , Bassam K. Frangieh and Clementina R. Brown
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 1 1998 0894108816 978-0894108815 Revised
This translation of Nizar Kabbani's poetry is accompanied by the striking Arabic texts of the poems, penned by Kabbani especially for this collection. Kabbani was a poet of great simplicity - direct, spontaneous, musical, using the language of everyday life. He was a ceasless campaigner for women's rights, and his verses praise the beauty of the female body, and of love. He was an Arab nationalist, yet he criticized Arab dictators and the lack of freedom in the Arab world.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Direct, spontaneous, musical poetry Feb. 13 2003
Collaboratively translated into English by Bassam K. Frangieh and Clementina R. Brown, Arabian Love Poems showcases the poetry and verse of Syrian born Nizar Kabbani (1923-1998). Kabbani's poetry is direct, spontaneous, musical, and drew upon the language of everyday life. Each poem is presented in a bilingual text of Arabic and English in this superbly presented edition which will well serve to introduce an American readership to one of the finest 20th Century poets of the Middle East. When I wrote your name/On the notebook of roses/I knew/All the illiterate,/All the sick and impotent men/Would stand against me./When I decided to kill the last Caliph,/To announce/The establishment of a state of love/Crowning you as its queen,/I knew/Only the birds/Would sing of the revolution with me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisitely Sensual Sept. 13 2003
Nizar Qabbani was the most beloved poet of modern Arabic literature. His writing was complex and profound, an enormous challenge to translate. Bassam K. Frangieh translates these gorgeous poems with sensitivity and perfection. Frangieh's style of translation is as beautiful as the poetry itself; I recommend this book to the world. Everyone will be delighted to read such heartfelt translations of some of the most sensual and passionate poetry in history.
FRANGIEH IS A MASTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding poet March 28 2000
By A Customer
Qabbani was revered by generations of Arabs for his sensual andromantic verse. His work was featured not only in his two dozenvolumes of poetry and in regular contributions to the Arabic-language newspaper Al Hayat, but in lyrics sung by Lebanese and Syrian vocalists who helped popularize his work.
The Syrian poet Youssef Karkoutly said in Damascus today that Qabbani had been "as necessary to our lives as air."
Through a lifetime of writing, Qabbani made women his main theme and inspiration. He earned a reputation for daring with the publication in 1954 of his first volume of verse, "Childhood of a Breast," which broke with the conservative traditions of Arabic literature. But it was not until he resigned from the Syrian diplomatic service in 1966 that Qabbani reached full flower. After the Arab defeat in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, he founded the Nizar Qabbani publishing house in London, and his became a powerful and eloquent voice of lament for Arab causes.
Qabbani was a committed Arab nationalist and in recent years his poetry and other writings, including essays and journalism, had become more political. But his writing also often fused themes of romantic and political despair, and it sometimes treated the oppression of women as a metaphor for what he saw as the Arabs' cursed fate. In his poem "Drawing with Words" he wrote: When a man wishes a woman he blows a horn, But when a woman wishes a man she eats the cotton of her pillow.
The Egyptian novelist Mona Helmi said of Qabbani today, "His greatness came from his ability to put into beautiful words not only the ordinary actions between men and women, but also between the ruler and ruled and the oppressor and the oppressed.
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