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Terri DeYoung

Badr Shakir Al-Sayyab: The Balcony of the Nobleman's Daughter

[Image from]

I remember the village winter, where drops of light came sprinkling Through the gaps in the clouds, like melodies Sliding between the strings of an instrument set atremble by the darkness It had sung before--in the morning...why am I being so calculating? a child I would simply smile At my nights and days, their exultant boughs thickly laden with houri eye flowers. And we--as our booming grandfather laughed or sang in the shade of the reed pavilion And his tenants ...

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Badr Shakir Al-Sayyab: Three Letters

[Image of Sayyab, from Al-Safir Newspaper]

[Sayyab's correspondence contains some of his most profound statements on poetry, modernity and contemporary politics of the era. Here, we present to you three letters, addressed to Suhayl Idris, Yusuf al-Khal, and Adonis, respectively.] 3/25/1954 To My Brother Dr. Suhayl Idris: Greetings! The letter that you just sent to me has left an indelible impression on my soul. It is yet another witness to the nobility of your soul, the greatness of your heart and the sincerity of ...

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Terri DeYoung is Associate Professor of Arabic at the University of Washington. She is author of Placing the Poet: Badr Shakir al-Sayyab and Postcolonial Iraq, and co-editor, with Issa Boullata, of Tradition and Modernity in Arabic Literature. Her most recent book is Mahmud Sami al-Barudi: Reconfiguring Society and the Self.