Pages of Day and Night

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Overview

Calling poetry a "question that begets another question," Adonis sets into motion this stream of unending inquiry with difficult questions about exile, identity, language, politics, and religion. Repeatedly mentioned as a possible Nobel laureate, Adonis is a leading figure in twentieth-century Arabic poetry.

Restless and relentless, Adonis explores the pain and otherness of exile, a state so complete that absence replaces identity and becomes the exile's only presence. Exile can...

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Overview

Calling poetry a "question that begets another question," Adonis sets into motion this stream of unending inquiry with difficult questions about exile, identity, language, politics, and religion. Repeatedly mentioned as a possible Nobel laureate, Adonis is a leading figure in twentieth-century Arabic poetry.

Restless and relentless, Adonis explores the pain and otherness of exile, a state so complete that absence replaces identity and becomes the exile's only presence. Exile can take many forms for the Arabic poet, who must practice his craft as an outsider, separated not only from the nation of his birth but from his own language; in the present as in the past, that exile can mean censorship, banishment, or death. Through these poems, Adonis gives an exquisite voice to the silence of absence.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an immensely satisfying new collection of poems—continuing the poet's restless, metaphysical exploration into 'everything strange.'" —Publishers Weekly

"[Adonis] writes from a profound understanding of and love for the Arabic culture from which he has been politically exiled. His poems are passionate, tragic, lyrical, evocative. . . . The translations, unlike many, stand on their own as poems."

 —Library Journal

Publishers Weekly
This is an immensely satisfying . . . collection of poems—continuing the poet's restless, metaphysical exploration into 'everything strange.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810160811
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Pages: 108
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Adonis was born 'Ali Ahmad Sa'id in 1930 in Syria. He has taught at the Université de la Sorbonne-Nouvelle, the Collège de France, Georgetown University, and the University of Geneva. A poet, an editor, a translator, and a literary critic, Adonis is the author of more than twenty books, including The Stage and the Mirrors, A Tomb for New York, and The Transformation of the Lover.

Samuel Hazo is the McAnulty Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Duquesne University. A widely published poet, fiction writer, essayist, and translator, Hazo was named Pennsylvania's first state poet in 1993. His most recent works are the poetry collection As They Sail and the novel Stills.

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Table of Contents

The Passage
The Days
The Wanderer
The Mark of Sisyphus
The Sleep of Hands
Underground
Tree of Fire
The Captive
Hunger
The Messenger
The Past
About the Leaves
The Call
In the Forest
The Pages of Day and Night
A Tree
A Mirror for Khalida
A Mirror for My Body in Love
A Dream for Any Man
A Woman and a Man
Voices
The Stage and the Mirrors
A King, Mihyar
His Voice
Mount Suneen
A World of Magic
Presence
Finally
The Traveler
Death
Thunderbolt
Adam
A Memory fo Wings
The Song
The Martyr in Dreams
Song of a Man in the Dark
The Crow's Feather
Remembering the First Century
Elegy for the Time at Hand
Elegy in Exile
The Funeral of New York
Transformations of the Lover
Wishes
Gilgamesh
Neffari
The Beginning of Naming
Pollen
Pollen II
Abu Nuwas
The Beginning of the Road
The Desert

Poetry and Apoetical Culture

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2004

    A Witness of Quiet Strength

    There is a transcendent kinship pervading the poetry of exile, one running from culture to culture, and ¿ as Adonis shows us ¿ from Adam, 'Choking quietly / with pain' (27), right up to the current `harvest of unborn children' (5). As he states in his preface, 'Absence and exile constitute the only presence' (xiv). Yet his is no insipid ornament of emotion; consider, 'The Stage and the Mirrors,': 'Suddenly I felt akin / to lightning / or a message / scratched in dust' (21); or, in 'The Sleep of Hands,': Today I offer my palms / to dead lands and muted / streets' (3). What Adonis shows us so intensely through these lines is a world redolent of broken lives, and journeys that never end, laid bare through an erudite and mystical poignancy. Here we find a link to the Hermetic poets of the early 20th century, especially Giuseppe Ungaretti, and an affinity with the best exile poets of Lithuania. Moreover, Adonis is a poet whose experience in the world underscores exile's broader witness. As fellow Arab poet Hadrat Ali wrote, 'Loss of a beloved is exile.' Such words serve as synecdoche for the profound loss and dispossession that Adonis speaks to. At the end of the book is a translation of Adonis' essay 'Poetry and Apolitical Culture.' One hopes, in the future, to see more English language essays of his poetics and criticism. Adonis is a perfect companion to the work of fellow Arab poets, particularly Mahmud Darwish and Sa'di Yusef.

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