Ishtar's Songs: Iraqi Poetry Since the 1970s
Soheil Najm, Editor and Translator
Dan Veach, Poet
Out of the ashes of decades of war come the voices of those who have survived its stark realties. Ishtar's Songs is filled with hope, bitterness, startling beauty and a love of country that defies the vicissitudes of political, social and military upheaval. The poems are beautifully translated and the vision they project - a vision of a resilient people who have suffered for so long and whose history and culture go back thousands of years - is rendered indelibly fur future generations. Required reading for every American who wishes to grasp the complexities of Iraqi culture.
Mike Maggio, Poet
Little one flies and then lands.
Sabahudin Hadžialić, Poet
Iraq's painful recent history is vividly personalized in these lyrical poems. The love, hope, anger and despair of these poets bear messages we very much need to hear. What burns brightest among these poems is our common humanity.
Sam Hamill, Poet
What a marvelous compendium of contemporary poetry - a wide spectrum of Iraqi voices sing of tragedy and irony, love and helplessness. Everybody here is out of work, Adil Abdullah complains, asking, What vast shame will touch their souls in the morning / when they discover by its light / that what they ate yesterday / was the flesh of their sons? Ahmed Adam, killed in Baghdad in 2005, laments with bitter irony, I was late twenty years this morning! Baqir Sahib asserts, I have no choice but to be / a wolf of words. Striving for some ray of hope, Husein Ali Yunis declares, now all of us are Don Quixotes.
David Radavich, Poet
160 pages, $18.95
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