Friday, March 19, 2010

Badr Shakir al-Sayyab

Badr Shakir al-Sayyab was one of the first of the modernists in Arabic poetry. His work is epic. He was one of the first to introduce the style of free verse to Arabic poetry, and of the Arabic modernists, he was one of the first and certainly one of the best to use mythology, both of his own culture and borrowed from the West, as a metaphor for the inanity of modern existence. He also, bless his heart, translated T.S. Eliot into Arabic.With that aside, his work is ridiculously difficult to find in English translation. There are a few of the more popular pieces, such as "Rain Song" and "Death and the River" that can be found in anthologies. But I need more.Does anyone have any clue where to find more of his work? Or that of Shauqi Abi Shaqra? Or Sargon Boulos?**

**Boulos is infinitely helpful in that he has helped to translate the works of other Arabic poets into English, but finding his own poems in translation is next to impossible.

1 comment:

wallacelyon said...