Mutanabi Readings

I recently re-discovered this beautiful video with a reading which inspired me to go on a search for Mutanabi sites and readings. The video is from one of his most famous poems and ends on perhaps the most famous line of Mutanabi (915 – 965): الخَيْلُ وَاللّيْلُ وَالبَيْداءُ تَعرِفُني وَالسّيفُ وَالرّمحُ والقرْطاسُ وَالقَلَمُ The desert … Continue reading Mutanabi Readings

I Must Ask Permission of the Homeland

This is a picture of Nizar Qabbani. The title of this post is the title of one of his poems which deals with putting the homeland first. Because this is about literature in crisis, writing in extremis, and putting the immediate needs of the country before fiction and imagination. And in many ways, in his … Continue reading I Must Ask Permission of the Homeland

Ahmed Matar’s Black Humor

I have been listening to Ahmed Matar's poetry since childhood, when no long car ride was undertaken without the cassette tape of the Iraqi poet reciting poems, giving us lines which were a blend of humor and despair, ironic in  their tone, lacerating in their self-criticism, bringing us face to face with a shared Arab … Continue reading Ahmed Matar’s Black Humor