Songs of Mihyar the Damascene

Adonis (Author) Kareem James Abu-Zeid (Translator)
& 2 more


The name "Mihyar" has no inherent meaning in Arabic, though its root letters mean "to destroy, topple, demolish." Mihyar is Adonis's poetic alter ego, his Zarathustra figure (in his own words), who has come to smash through any monolithic vision of Arab culture--including certain orthodox Islamic views--in favor of a more diverse and open-ended outlook. Songs of Mihyar is a masterpiece of world literature that rewrites--through Mediterranean myths and renegade Arabic mystics--what it means to be an Arab in the modern world.

Product Details

New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
April 30, 2019
5.1 X 0.8 X 7.9 inches | 0.6 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

A perennial candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, ADONIS, born Ali Ahmed Said Esber in the Syrian village Al-Qassabin in 1930, is one of the most influential modern Arab poets and cultural critics. He has received numerous honors, including the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Goethe Prize, and the PEN/Nabokov Award.
Kareem James Abu-Zeid is the translator of Tarek Eltayeb's Cities without Palms (AUC Press, 2009), for which he was runner-up in the 2010 Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation.
The literary translator IVAN EUBANKS is the editor of the Pushkin Review and has a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages from Princeton University.
A critic, translator, and scholar, Robyn Creswell is currently the poetry editor for the Paris Review and assistant professor of comparative literature at Yale.


Adonis's language casts a liturgical spell.--Robyn Creswell
Poetry for Adonis is not merely a genre or an art form but a way of thinking, something almost like mystical revelation.--Charles McGrath