Concerto al-Quds

Adonis; Translated from the Arabic by Khaled Mattawa

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November 28, 2017
96 pages, 6 x 7 3/4
ISBN: 9780300197648

A cri de cœur or fully imagined poem on the myth and history of Jerusalem/Al-Quds from the author revered as the greatest living Arabic poet

At the age of eighty-six, Adonis, a Syrian poet, critic, essayist, and devoted secularist, has come out of retirement to pen an extended, innovative poem on Jerusalem/Al-Quds. It is a hymn to a troubled city embattled by the conflicting demands of Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
Adonis’s city, as a coveted land, ought to suggest the universal love of humanity; as a land of tragedy, a place of contending history and beliefs, and a locus of bitterness, conflict, hatred, rivalry, and blood. Wrapping multiple voices, historical references, and political viewpoints within his ecstatic lyricism, Adonis has created a provocative work of unique beauty and profound wisdom, beautifully rendered in English by award-winning poet Khaled Mattawa.

Adonis, born Ali Ahmad Sa’id, is a Syrian poet. He has been a leading figure in the modernist movement in Arabic poetry since the mid-twentieth century. He lives in France. Khaled Mattawa is professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Michigan. He has received a MacArthur grant among many other awards for his writings and translations.

"In Concerto al-Quds, the poet Adonis grapples with the ravages of history and the ancient, fractious site known as al-Quds, or Jerusalem. Adonis writes with music in the blood, ferocity of vision, and bristling intelligence. Fueled by serious duende and a powerful sense of urgency, Concerto al-Quds is a monumental work and book of reckoning, masterfully translated by Khaled Mattawa."—Jessica Hagedorn, author of Dogeaters
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