The Nomad Mum's Diary: A voice from the Harem meets the tears of Shahrayaar

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A voice from the Harem meets the tears of Shahrayaar

These two poems by Nizar Qabbani come from two books, and were probably written with several years in between. Separately, they read like idiosyncratic whining, together they are a fascinating example of Qabbani’s Janus-like ability to speak in the voice of men and women alike with poems that cover every possible angle on love, passion, even obsession. Shahrayaar is the king in Arabian nights who marries a maiden at night and orders her killed the following morning, and Nizar often uses him as a... Sign in to see full entry.

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