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. (From Goodreads.)
Personal Take: Published posthumously, this book is a collection of Qabbani’s love poems, with its pages split in two– one side of the pages had Nizar’s original poetry in Arabic, and on the other side were the English translations. All I can say is that I’m lucky that I can read Arabic, because the English translations did his words no justice. Qabbani was definitely a genius– his Arabic poetry so piercing and straightforward, and yet profound with meaning and emotions with charming, sensual imagery.
As I was reading through his work, I enjoyed getting a glimpse of his personality, and the recurring themes of his writing. Many of the poems I read threatened to made me cry from how perfect it was.
Honestly, I can’t describe it other than that– perfect.
Audience: Older readers, as Qabbani subject matters tend to be sensual.
Other recommendations: Fans of Qabbani can check out his original poetry books published during his time, as well as other separate collections published after his death.