Without an Alphabet, Without a Face: Selected Poems
This Iraq will reach the ends of the graveyard.
It will bury its sons in open country
generation after generation,
and it will forgive its despot...
It will not be the Iraq that once held the name.--from "A Vision"
Living his life in exile--a series of forced departures from numerous countries--Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef also writes outside the long-standing forms of traditional Arabic poetry. In the words of Salma Khadra, a critic of Arabic poetry, "Youssef's poetry abounds with the sights, smells, colors, and movement of life around him, depicting scenes of great familiarity and intimacy. This is a great achievement in the face of the rage and fury and technical complexities of much of the other poetry written by his contemporaries." Beautifully translated by Khaled Mattawa, Graywolf is proud to present Without an Alphabet, Without a Face to the United States.
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About the Author
Saadi Youssef is one of the leading poets of the Arab world. Born in 1932 in Basra, Iraq, he has published thirty volumes of poetry and seven books of prose. He left Iraq in 1979, and after many detours, he has recently settled in London.