Synopses & Reviews
In this inspired translation of Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me,
Ghassan Zaqtan's tenth and most recent poetry collection,
along with selected earlier poems, Fady Joudah brings to English-language readers the best work by one of the most important and original Palestinian poets of our time. With these poems Zaqtan enters new terrain, illuminating the vision of what Arabic poetry in general and Palestinian poetry in particular are capable of. Departing from the lush aesthetics of such celebrated predecessors as Mahmoud Darwish and Adonis, Zaqtan's daily, delicate narrative, whirling catalogues, and at times austere aesthetics represent a new trajectory, a significant leap for young Arabic poets today.
In his preface to the volume, Joudah analyzes and explores the poet's body of work. "Ghassan Zaqtan's poems, in their constant unfolding," Joudah writes, "invite us to enter them, exit them, map and unmap them, code and decode them, fill them up and empty them, with the living and nonliving, the animate and inanimate, toward a true freedom."
A stirring collection of recent work by a leading poet of the Arab world, superbly translated for English-language readers
About the Author
Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan is the author of ten collections of poetry. He is also a novelist, editor, and filmmaker. He was born in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem, and has lived in Jordan, Beirut, Damascus, and Tunis. He returned to Palestine in 1994 and now lives in Ramallah. Fady Joudah is a practicing physician of internal medicine and an award-winning poet and translator. Among his translations are two poetry collections by Mahmoud Darwish, If I Were Another and The Butterfly's Burden. He lives in Houston, TX.