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Classical Poems by Arab Women
A Bilingual Anthology
Arab women poets have been around since the earliest of times, yet their diwans (collected poems) were not given the same consideration as their male counterparts'. Spanning 5,000 years, from the pre-Islamic to the Andalusian periods, Classical Poems by Arab Women presents rarely seen work by over fifty women writers for the first time. From the sorrowful eulogies of Khansa to the gleeful scorn of Wallada bint al-Mustakfi, this collection exclusively features the work of Arab women who boldly refused to be silenced. The poems are excursions into their vibrant world whose humanity has been suppressed for centuries by religious and political bigotry. With poems in both English and Arabic, this remarkable anthology celebrates feminine wit and desire, and shows the significant contribution Arab women made to the literary tradition.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'The range of female poets from radically different eras is extraordinary, as is how fearlessly they speak about their desires' Mona Eltahawy'; 'A unique anthology that transcends love and liberation' Moris Farhi; 'Al-Udhari's effort to clarify this subject really does fill a gap and contributes to a more balanced discussion that the works about women in the modern Arab world allow.' Folklore Bulletin, Ohio State University 'The very process of anthologizing the names of so many unfamiliar poets has provided a useful historical survey.' Roger Allen, MESA Bulletin 'An outspoken and controversial book that provides many moments for both enjoyment and reflection.' Denys Johnston-Davies, Al-Ahram 'One of the most exciting books to have come my way this year ... Vividly conveys the richness and diversity of a culture more closely related to our own than we realize.' Prospect