Robin Fry:Here and There

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    تاريخ التسجيل : 14/09/2010

    Robin Fry:Here and There

    مُساهمة  Admin في الإثنين أبريل 22, 2013 8:08 pm

    Here and There

    By Basim Furat

    Here and There is Basim Furat’s third book of poems but the first in English, translated by three Arab writers.
    Those who have heard Furat at poetry venues around Wellington will remember him delivering his poems in Arabic, his voice as plangent as the cadences of the muezzin calling from the minarets of his native Iraq. His background is one of tragedy – of war, military service and the early death of his father – experience encapsulated in Coming To Be:
    My father:
    An ancient sadness;
    My mother:
    A book of sadness.
    When my father opened the book,
    I came to be.
    In the title poem Here and There, he contrasts the rough-hewn features of “Aotearoa/My sweet refuge” with “the glamour of the Tigris”. Unlike his homeland “Your cities are replete with women and flowers” but “ Your shores are becoming weary / From the wailing of waves” and “The hills that never take / Off their robes of green / Drive my longing for desert sands…”
    Furat, also a photographer, has a penetrating eye for detail and nature. His new landscapes are interleaved with dreams of the old:
    “In cities exhausted by the sea
    I dump my dreams
    I have souvenirs from wars
    And from cities: wounds
    I have the tears of reeds,
    The sighs of date palms,
    The revelation of oranges
    The blood of myrtle…”
    In his long poems Infinitely South and I Paint Baghdad, loss and longing are made lyrical – jasmine petals, palms and minarets are glimpsed through the shards of war.
    The cadences we remember are for the most part preserved in translation. Had he been writing in English, I wonder whether the poet would have used such words as “whinnying” so often. Did he mean “complaining”, “lamenting”?
    The translators render some surprising juxtapositions, but the poetry is of experience juxtaposed between hemispheres, between war and peace, home and exile, dream and waking. It has something of the labyrinthine quality of dream states.
    The title poems of his two previous collections in Arabic The Vehemence of Cooing and The Autumn of Minarets are included in sections II and III along with some love poems.
    “Beneath my tongue/ two rivers are rumbling,” writes Basim Furat, summing up for me the spirit of his work. Here and There is the first book of Arabic poetry to be translated into English in New Zealand. Perhaps the secret of this considerable contribution is also contained in the poet’s own words, “I exchange the splinters of bombs with roses and poems”.
    2004. Furat, B. Here and There. HeadworX
    Review by Robin Fry


      الوقت/التاريخ الآن هو السبت نوفمبر 17, 2018 10:23 am