Posts Tagged ‘taha muhammad ali’


Taha Muhammad Ali
“So What; New and Selected Poems, 1971 – 2005”
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As burdensome as reading translations can be, knowing that you’re not getting the genuine article, but, rather, the genuine article through a filtered medium, reading Peter Cole’s translations of Taha Muhammad Ali’s poems seems a dictation of original voice. That is to say, it flows freely. Not surprising, seeing as I’m reading the words of an American. But the previous statement was meant more to convey that nothing seems forced or out of place in any of the poems in this book. Whether it is due to Cole’s dualistic language skills or the fluidity between Arabic and English, the flow and sound of every poem in this collection seems … right.

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Admittedly, it is an outright shame I only went for one day, but the poetry and conversations encountered in that one day were enough to make me, a gluttinuous gobbler of poetry, overwhelmed. Highlight included the humour of Coleman Barks, the discovery of poets Matthea Harvey and Taha Muhammad Ali, and the intensity of Taslima Nasreen.

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