Printer Friendly

Nazik al-Mala'ika's poetry and its critical reception in the West.

Nazik al-Mala'ika occupies a prominent position in modern Arabic literature not only because of her innovative, experimental poetry, but also because of her well-known systematic critical efforts and her views toward important artistic, linguistic, and intellectual issues in modern Arabic literature. Since the publication of her first collection, The Lover of night (Ashiqat al-Layl, 1947), al-Mala'ika has contributed toward transforming Arabic poetry in terms of its orientation and structure. This is reflected equally in her own poetry and in her critical theorization of the new poetic form known as free verse. Therefore, it is not surprising that al-Mala'ika's poetry and her critical theories should receive attention in both the Arab World and in the West, despite the fact that the West did not pay any significant attention to modern Arabic literature until after World War II (see Altoma, 7:243-257).

A survey of studies written about Nazik al-Mala'ika between 1950 and the 1980s reveals that early references to her were general in nature, aimed at recognizing her position in modern Arabic literature. In 1950, S.A. Khulusi dealt with al-Mala'ika in two articles published in Islamic Review (42:40-45) and the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (43:149-107). Titled "Contemporary Poetesses of Iraq," the first article includes a brief introduction of Rabab al-Kazimi, Umm Nizar al-Mala'ika [Nazik's mother] and Nazik al-Mala'ika, Fatina al-Na'ib and Lami'a Abbas Amarah. A large section of the article is devoted to Nazik al-Mala'ika in which Khulusi touched, though without adequate evidence, on a number of influences such as those of the Mahjarite (Arab-American) literature, John Keats, D.H. Lawrence, and Mahmud Hasan Isma'il on her work. He also alluded to al-Mala'ika's use of Greek figures or symbols but he inadvertently included among them Hiawatha, a hero of Native American legends. It was in her Splinters and Ashes (Shazaya wa Ramad), 1949 that al-Mala'ika explained her use of Hiawatha, the native American figure, as a poetic symbol. In the same article, Khulusi translated excerpts from al-Mala'ika's poems "Between the Jaws of Death," "Statutes," "Whips and Echoes," and "Yearnings and Sorrows" (The Lover of Night [Ashiqat al-Layl], 1947). Khulusi, to the best of my knowledge, was the first critic to refer [in a Western publication] to al-Mala'ika's departure from the traditional two-hemistich system and her adoption of the foot as a rhythmic base. He also underlined her pioneering role in laying out the theoretical foundations of free verse, endorsing al-Mala'ika's views as expressed in the "Introduction" to her collection Splinters and Ashes (42:43). Unfortunately, his critical evaluation of al-Mala'ika, despite its historical value, was not acknowledged even in the academic studies published twenty years after his study. In his second article about Atika al-Khazraji, Khulusi was somewhat rash in his critical judgment. He indicated, for instance, that al-Khazraji was more talented than other Iraqi women poets. He even went to the extent of labeling al-Khazraji as "The Uncrowned Queen of Modern Poetry," even though he elsewhere admitted that al-Khazraji's poetry was less imaginative, less original and less musical than al-Mala'ika's (43:154).

These early efforts were followed by two essays by the Sudanese author and former Foreign Minister, Jamal M. Ahmed. In one essay he referred to Nazik al-Mala'ika as one of the prominent poets (18:164). His second essay cited, in a laudatory tone, al-Mala'ika's poem, "The Hidden Land" which was published in her third collection, The Bottom of the Wave (Qararat al-Mawja, 1957). Here Ahmed translated a few lines from it, pointing out that it was "not only a powerful poem but also one of the most competent" (19:20).

In 1959, the French writer Pierre Rossi published an article titled, "Impressions sur la Poesie d'Irak. Jawahiri, Mardan, Nazik al-Mala'ika, Bayati," in which we find a French translation of al-Mala'ika's poem, "To Wash Away Dishonor," among the translated poems by the other three poets. But the chronology of al-Mala'ika was not accurate. He stated that her first book, Lover of the Night, was published in 1951, and her Splinters and Ashes was published in 1954 (74:199-212).

The year 1961 witnessed several attempts to introduce Nazik al-Mala'ika in the West. In his bilingual anthology of modern Arabic literature, Anthologie Bilingue de la litterature arabe cotemporaine, Vincent Monteil includes both the French and the Arabic texts of al-Mala'ika's poem "Five Songs to Pain," which was first published in 1957 in al-Adab (Beirut) (67:99-109). In addition, the well-known British critic and translator Desmond Stewart, who was also al-Mala'ika's professor, refers to her poetry in his essay "Contacts with Arab Writers" (1961). He also cites a few lines from al-Mala'ika's poem "Legends" as she translated it, with some emendations, as Steward indicates (76:19-20). George Sfeir's essay "Writers in Arabic" states that Nazik al-Mala'ika expresses the awakened woman's hidden feelings by using sorrowful tunes and symbolic modes (The New York Times Book Review, 75:48-49). Lastly, Salih Jawad Altoma, in a lecture at the Women's Club of the Pen Association in Washington, D.C., considered Nazik al-Mala'ika the most prominent poetess in the Arab World, referring to the rebellion, perplexity, and melancholy that saturated her poetry. He also translated some lines from her poem "The Gatherer of Shadows" (21:14-15).

All the studies that were published until the mid-1960s were of a general introductory nature and included some limited translations of al-Mala'ika's poetry. They lacked detailed demonstration of both al-Mala'ika's role in the evolution of the modern Arabic poem in the context of the previous or contemporary experimentations as well as her critical views and attitudes. By 1965 these aspects, however, started to attract attention, especially in academic scholarship and university theses which discussed modern trends in Arabic poetry. It is noteworthy that the scholars who were interested in exploring these issues were primarily Arab students at Western universities, which indicates that the Arab presence in the West was a main factor in highlighting modern Arabic literature, especially Arabic poetry.

In discussing Nazik al-Mala'ika's poetry in the West, I will treat the following aspects: 1) the question of al-Mala'ika's pioneering use of the free verse; 2) her critical views; 3) her translation of Western poetry and its impact on her poetry; and 4) the translation of her poetry into Western languages.

Many scholars have discussed the historical issue of the beginnings of the free verse and whether Nazik al-Mala'ika was the first to introduce it or if there were other poets who preceded her such as Badr Shakir al-Sayyab (1926-1964), Niqula Fayyad, or Louis Awad

Perhaps S. Moreh, who is originally from Iraq, has, more than other critics, been interested in pursuing the historical beginnings of the free verse. In his numerous studies, he referred to Ahmad Zaki Abu Shadi's (1892-1955) early attempts to introduce free verse in the late 1920s. Moreh also alluded to Khalil Shaybub's experiment in his poem, "The Sail," (1932), though his brother, Siddiq Shaybub, according to Moreh, put the date of its composition in 1921. Furthermore, Moreh considered Niqula Fayyad's experimentations, especially his poem, "Reunion in Imagination," which was published in the journal al-Hurriyya (Iraq) in 1924. Moreh concludes his study of these early experimentations with free verse by stating that Niqula Fayyad was the first to practice free verse in 1924 (70:205). However, in order to fully explore the development of the free verse, Moreh thought it would be better to devote one whole chapter to the study of the pre-1947 phase of the free verse movement and another for what he terms the Iraqi School (70:196-215).

In his discussion of this School, Moreh outlines Nazik al-Mala'ika's fundamental views, concepts, and use of the free verse, on the basis of her critical writings, particularly the "Introduction" to her collection Splinters and Ashes and her well-known book titled Problems in Contemporary Poetry (Qadaya al-Shi'r al-Mu'asir, 1962). Distinguishing between her poems that follow monostrophic form and those written in free verse, which does not follow a strict metric system nor a particular rhyme scheme, he illustrates that her two collections, Splinters and Ashes and The Bottom of the Wave include 25 poems in monostrophic form (70:219). It is relevant to observe here that the poet herself had declared earlier that she used the stanzaic form and that she insisted, more than other poets, on a rigid rhyme scheme (9:17-18), as she did in her poem "Cholera" whose stanzas follow the same rhyme scheme, that is: abbccddbbeeee. In this regard, Moreh argues, al-Sayyab's poem, "Was It Love?" is different in form from "Cholera," because it does not adhere to a consistent rhyme scheme and therefore al-Sayyab was correct when he considered his experiment closer than al-Mala'ika's to the free verse. According to this distinction between the monostrophic verse and the free verse - a distinction noted as well by the Tunisian critic Nur al-Din Sammud in his "The Poem 'Cholera' is not free verse" (4:376-388) - poetry qualifies for free verse only when it does not follow a consistent scheme. Evidently, al-Mala'ika's concept of free verse is broader than this definition. In her "Introduction" to Splinters and Ashes, she defines free verse as any poetry, regardless of its stanzaic structure or rhyme scheme, that departs from the two-hemistich line system and that employs the taf'ilah "foot" as its basis whether or not it follows uniform scheme. To illustrate her point, she refers to two kinds of her poems: "Cholera" and "Strangers" as representatives of the first kind of free verse, which follow strict metric and rhyme schemes; and "The Train Has Come" and "The Bottom of the Stairs" as representatives of the second kind which do not follow particular rhyme or metric systems.

Al-Mala'ika's theoretical writings on the free verse movement in modern Arabic poetry was also discussed and analyzed by Mounah Khouri in his "Lewis Awad: A Forgotten Pioneer of the Free Verse Movement" (1970). Khouri considers Lewis Awad's collection Plutoland and Other Poems from the Poetry of the Elite (1947) as the pioneering experiment in free verse which crystallized, according to him, "the basic poetic norms and patterns which characterized the free verse movement" (39:138). He nevertheless acknowledges that al-Mala'ika was the first poet to lay out in her "Introduction" to Splinters and Ashes and her Problems of Contemporary Poetry the theoretical foundations for the development of the new poetic form (41:132).

All this academic debate on who was the first to use free verse or advocate it is justifiable. For modern Arabic literature has witnessed, since the mid-Nineteenth Century, many innovative movements due to its interaction with Western literatures which resulted in, or was accompanied by, extensive literary translation movement and attempts at adopting and appropriating some Western literary styles and forms such as blank verse, prose poetry and free verse. Most probably, a comprehensive survey of Arabic poetry and criticism published in newspapers and journals since the mid-Nineteenth Century would unearth some new names and literary works associated with such innovations. But the debate or the survey will not change the historical fact that free verse as a literary movement started first in Iraq, nor will it diminish the pioneering role which al-Mala'ika played in its development. Al-Mala'ika's place is firmly established by virtue of her dual role as a poet and a critic. On the one hand she has, as a poet, assimilated Arabic poetic heritage, mastered its traditional forms, experimented with new forms and continued to this day her innovative efforts in the structure of the Arabic poem. And on the other hand, as a literary theorist, she is noted for her original vision, knowledge and experience that all qualified her to lay out the initial theoretical foundations for free verse, and to reflect on its later development with unprecedented critical details in modern Arabic letters.

Those who have studied al-Mala'ika generally agree on the importance of her role as a literary critic with distinct views and attitudes in different areas. Some of her critical writings were translated into several Western languages. "The Social Roots of the Free Verse Movements" was translated, in a condensed form, into French by Anour Abdel-Malek in 1955. The same essay was translated into Spanish by Pedro Martinez Montavez in 1965. Her article "The Beginning of Free Verse" was translated into English by Elizabeth Fernea and Basima Q. Bezirgan in 1977. Nissim Rejwan summarized and translated in part her study "Literature and the Cultural Invasion" (1965) under the title "Rejecting Europe's Cultural Influence: Protest of an Iraqi Poetess" in 1966.

Foremost among the topics which critics discussed is al-Mala'ika's concept of meter in free verse and her insistence on adhering to the unity of metrical foot without violating the prosodic rules, as she illustrates in her study of metrical patterns in free verse. This concept, according to French Orientalist Jacques Berque in his Cultural Expression in Arab Society Today (1978), represents a restriction, if not a reversal, in the artistic revolution that characterized the free verse movement. Berque goes on to suggest that al-Mala'ika's work Problems in Contemporary Poetry seems to be inflexible concerning the prosodic rules she proposes (32:272). Like Berque, M.M. Badawi underlines, though in passing, al-Mala'ika's conservative approach in the work cited above, most probably referring to her attitude toward poets who differ with her in their poetic experiments.(29:203;30:228). Salma Khadra Jayyusi addressed the same issue and rejected al-Mala'ika's insistence on the use of the same beat(28:615) as well as her insistence on the meter as the sole criterion by which distinction is made between verse and prose (38:638). According to al-Mala'ika "A poem is a poem only when it has meter, otherwise it is prose, not poetry"(10:132). On the other hand Jayyusi commends highly al-Mala'ika's concern with the proper use of Arabic, highlighting the great service she has rendered to Arabic poetry by identifying the errors which poets commit in their works. Jayyusi refers in particular to al-Mala'ika's treatment of the language aspect in two chapters of her book [Problems of Contemporary Arabic] which focused on the use of repetition in poetry and the poet's linguistic responsibility (10:230-240; 289-300).

Among al-Mala'ika's critical writings which were subject of discussion or praise is her book on the work of Egyptian poet Ali Mahmud Taha (19021949). M.M. Badawi in his A Critical Introduction to Modern Arabic Poetry (1975) outlines some of her views on the nature of Taha's widespread appeal to "a wide variety of tastes" or orientations (11:8-17; 27). Badawi points out her competent and penetrating analysis of Taha's poetic music. In several sections of her book, al-Mala'ika investigates the factors that help produce effective music in Taha's poetry, such as sound devices and rhythmic patterns (11:64-68; 143-156). But when Badawi discusses the sensual aspect in Taha's poetry, he argues against al-Mala'ika's "prudish denial" in statements such as, "I believe that sensuality and the search for pleasure are accidents in Ali Mahmud Taha's life, because his nature is basically spiritual." Or her remark, "The most sensual of his poems are hardly completely devoid of a spiritual or intellectual background" (30:144). In his effort to refute al-Mala'ika's denial of Taha's sensuality, Badawi refers the reader to a number of Taha's poems such as "The Poet's Tavern," "A Kiss," "The Poet's Wine," from his collection Flowers and Wine (1943); and "Question and Answer," "The Island of Lovers," and "The Slaughtered Love," from Taha's collection Return of Longing (1945) and "Philosophy and Imagination," and "The Andalusian Girl" from his collection East and West (1947). By citing such poems, Badawi seeks to emphasize the prevailing sensuality in Taha's poetry stating that Taha's main attitude from his first volume of poetry to the last "continued to be more or less consistently hedonistic" (30:144). It is noteworthy that al-Mala'ika herself stressed this aspect in Taha's poetry when she said:

An objective approach in our study requires us to state that All Mahmud Taha's latest collections exhibit an obvious sensual phenomenon which is absent in his first collection, The Lost Mariner [1934]. The latter was full of spiritual gestures, lofty ideals, and veneration of pure beauty and the purity of body and soul. But in the collections published later, the poet shows clear interest in depicting sensual scenes, distancing himself, to some extent, from his earlier aesthetic and platonic worlds (11:366).

She cited some of the poems to which Badawi referred and to other poems especially in Chapter 6 of her book (11:365-381) where she traced Taha's "descent from the rank of a genuine lover to the lower status of an idle spectator who seeks fleeting diversion and sensual pleasure" and his transition from his spiritual world to hedonistic and paganistic rituals. Nevertheless, al-Mala'ika, [though she seems to agree with Badawi's observation concerning Taha's sensual aspect] continued to reject the view which denies completely Taha's spirituality. She sought to find a rationale for the apparent deviation in Taha's sensual poems, but was unable to offer a clear explanation due to the fact that more detailed information about the poet's life, his disposition and view were still lacking (11:381 and 104-111).

As for al-Mala'ika's study titled "Literature and Cultural Invasion" (14:30-34), which she presented at the Fifth Conference of Arab Writers, Baghdad, 1965, it was a subject for commentary in English by two critics: Nissim Rejwan (73:16-17) and S. Moreh (70:273-274) in addition to what was written about it in Arabic sources (1:120-12). Rejwan's essay provides a summary of her study and partial translation covering crucial points which al-Mala'ika raised. They included her comparison between cultural and military invasions; her observation of the passive attitude of the Arabs which is evident, according to her, in their relinquishing "what is essential and superior to the West in our culture in order to embrace in its stead cheap and harmful commodity"; the loss of moral significance in Arabic literature; the spread of a pessimistic spirit; the new generation's abandonment of the Qur'an and its spiritual values; and the translation from Western literatures as a means of weakening the Arabic language. Rejwan ends his commentary, which was more journalistic than analytical, by translating al-Mala'ika's remark regarding writers who use the tragedy of Palestine to justify the gloom, the nihilism, and the general feeling of emptiness prevalent in Arabic writings. Al-Mala'ika argues that "the tragedy of 1948 has ignited the entire Arab homeland with the fire of struggle and Arabism leading to the great revolutions which took place in Cairo, Algiers, Beirut, Baghdad, and Yemen" (14:32). Irrespective of the reasons that might have motivated him to choose this study in particular for his commentary and publish it in a political journal hostile to the Arabs, Rejwan sought to illustrate an aspect of the Arab reaction toward the penetration of Western ways of life and ideologies at the expense of the Arabs' authentic traditions and their cultural identity. Using al-Mala'ika's study as an extreme and violent example, Rejwan also wanted to demonstrate that some who advocated resistance to the Western challenge were Arab thinkers and writers who were influenced by the West and were the product of what he called the "Age of Westernization."

Unlike Rejwan, who focused on the political aspects, S. Moreh, in his reading of al-Mala'ika's "Literature and Cultural Invasion," focused on the literary aspect of her argument, that is, the Arabs' imitation of Western literature. Moreh pointed out that al-Mala'ika reiterated her views in her letter to Suhayl Idris, the editor of the literary journal Al-Adab (Beirut) in which she criticized al-Adab for publishing indecent writings emanating from unethical attitudes toward life and existence. She referred to the journal's practice of publishing the works of young writers who excessively imitate contemporary Western writings which promote pessimism, atheism, decadence, and anxiety. Moreh cited also her criticism of a story by the Syrian writer Zakariyya Tamir which presents, in her view, a distorted image of the Arab city. Moreh's commentary included his translation of the following remarks (70:272-273):

We find the image of the old and rotting city in the poetry and stories of some of our youth, because they draw their knowledge from the literature of old Europe where the cities grew old and became an abyss of crime, disease, darkness and nausea and where contemporary literature only reflects this dark and contaminated environment.... We [the Arabs] who are rich with life, spirits, firmness[asala] and morality, leave our fertile talents and sources [yanabi'], and strive, begging from the writers of Europe, whose civilization is decaying, dying, and crawling to its ordained end; we whom fortune smiles upon, and to whom the world looks to rebuild [it], we ourselves disparage our intellectual and cultural treasures and stand contemptuous of [sic, i.e. servile to] the vile [munhatta] tables of the West which spread crime, terror, desperation and sickness in readers.... Arab youth is awakening today and approaching intoxicated and active.... This youth burst forth with enthusiasm and exaltation to spend its intellectual and physical energies in building a nation which is active from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Gulf.

Moreh seems to treat in detail al-Mala'ika's views in order to present a general view of the nationalistic trend in Arabic literature as it is represented by al-Mala'ika and other Arab writers.

Undoubtedly, Western literatures constitute one of the important sources in al-Mala'ika's education; they left their mark in some of her works as is evident in her uses of borrowed images and symbols, her allusions to John Keats and other Western poets, and her translation of poems by Byron, Thomas Gray, and Rupert Brooke and others. Yet, in all the writings on al-Mala'ika in the West, we often encounter passing remarks to these interactions between her poetry and Western poets. For example, S. Moreh refers to her adoption of the Keatsian stanza repeating in a sense Jabra Ibrahim Jabra's observation published earlier in the journal Shi'r (Poetry) in 1957. Badawi notes her allusions to Greek mythology and her use of Hiawatha from "The Song of Hiawatha," a work by the 19th-Century American poet Henry W. Longfellow (30:230). As we mentioned earlier, Khulusi (42:43) noted likewise such uses in al-Mala'ika's poetry. AbdulHai refers in his Tradition and English and American Influence in Arabic Romantic Poetry (1982) to the impact of Romantic English poets and Apollo Group poets on her poetry, illustrating especially her use of the "pigeon" image in a manner reminiscent of Keats's "Nightingale." And finally, Vincent Monteil briefly refers to the similarity between al-Mala'ika's poem "Five Songs to Pain" and aspects of Gabriela Mistral's poetry (67:100) - a similarity noticed also by Juan Vernet in his 1968 book, Literature arabe (77:212).

Unfortunately, all these instances provide us with preliminary or general impressions of Western influences on al-Mala'ika's poetry. We are still in need of methodical studies that reveal and document in detail both the nature and the extent of these influences, whether in relation to al-Mala'ika's stylistic usages or imageries, themes, and other aspects which are evident in both her poetry and her critical writings.

Nevertheless, one can cite, as a good example, Muhamad Abdul-Hai's treatment of al-Mala'ika's translation of Thomas Gray's "An Elegy in a Country Churchyard." Reviewing ten Arabic translations of the poem, Abdul-Hai considered al-Mala'ika's as the most mature. He described it as a creative work "in the sense that it is a re-casting of the original poem into a new Arabic" but romanticized version. Al-Mala'ika, according to Abdul-Hai, effectively introduced adjectives not used in the original such as "anguished, tired, melancholic and sad." Such added adjectives serve "to emphasize the already present melancholic element in the 'Elegy'" as Abdul-Hai stated (17:28). Furthermore he alluded to the fact that such adjectives and their derivatives constitute a recurrent element in al-Mala'ika's diction. According to him, her collection The Lover of Night alone includes one hundred and ninety instances of such words of which twenty were used in her translation of Gray's "Elegy." In addition, Abdul-Hai cited examples of al-Mala'ika's "complete, and utterly unjustifiable, departure from the original" in some instances. However, he does not treat this issue in detail as Izzat Khattab does in his essay in Arabic, which is wholly devoted to the study of similarities and differences between al-Mala'ika's translation and the English text (3:227-247).

It is not an easy task to survey all of al-Mala'ika's translated poems in Western languages. The absence of a comprehensive bibliography of Arabic literature in translation in the West makes the task even more daunting. Even when we have a bibliography such as Margaret Anderson's Arabic Materials in English Translation: A Bibliography of Works From Pre-Islamic Period to 1977 (1980) we find only one poem listed for al-Mala'ika "The Visitor Who Did Not Come" (26:198). What I have found of her poems in translation in English, French, Spanish, and German, represents only a fraction of al-Mala'ika's work. As the bibliography indicates, we have translations for the following poems:

"Cholera," "The Bottom of the Stairs" (translated as "The Top of the Stairs"), "The Viper," "I" (translated as "Who Am I"), "Insignificant Woman," "The Visitor Who Did Not Come," "Washing Off Disgrace," "Five Songs To Pain," "Jamila," "Ice and Fire" (partially translated under the title "My Silence"), and "Greetings to the Iraqi Republic."

In addition to these, excerpts from her other poems have been translated:

"Between Death's Jaws," "Statutes," "Whips and Echoes," "Yearnings and Sorrows," "The Hidden Land," "Legends," "The Gatherer of Shadows," "Greetings to the Iraqi Republic," and "The Bottom of the Stairs."

It should be noted that the translated poems and excerpts mostly reflect aspects of the melancholy, pessimism, and perplexity prevalent in al-Mala'ika's poetry. They, of course, do not represent her political, more optimistic poems, nor do they reflect her mystical/Sufist-oriented poems as it is especially evident in her recent two collections, For Prayers and Revolution (1978) and And the Sea Changes Its Colors (1977).

It is hardly surprising to find that critics frequently deal with al-Mala'ika's melancholic and introspective poetry. Nevertheless, references are occasionally made to her patriotic poems (Badawi 30:230) or the optimistic tone and defiant spirit in her political poems as reflected in her collection For Prayer and Revolution (Altoma 24:457).

This rapid survey of the writings about Nazik al-Mala'ika's poetry and criticism in the West clearly indicates her prominent position in modern Arabic letters, and reveals at the same time definite gaps in the literature covering her work. This is particularly noticeable as far as the following aspects are concerned: first, al-Mala'ika's literary education (the Arabic and the non-Arabic) and the extent of Western influence in her work: second, a more adequate representation of her poetry in both translation and critical studies, and third, al-Mala'ika's critical writings and their place in modern Arabic criticism.


Arabic Sources

1. Idris, Suhayl. "Commentary," Al-Adab 13 (3 March, 1965), pp. 120-121

2. -----. "Al-Adab in Its Fourteenth Anniversary," Al-Adab 14 (1 January, 1966), pp. 1-2.

3. Khattab, Izzat Abd al-Majid. "Arabic Translation of the Elegy by the English Poet Thomas Gray." The Journal of the College of Arts (Riyad) 3 (1973-1974), pp. 227-247.

4. Sammud, Nur al-Din. "The Poem 'Cholera': Not Free Verse." Al-Fikr 24 (1978-1979), pp. 376-388.

5. Taha, Ali Mahmud. Diwan Ali Mahmud Taha. Beirut, 1972.

6. Altoma, Salih Jawad. Arabic Poetry in Translation. Riyad, 1981.

7. -----. "Shawqi and His Works in Selected Western Sources." Fusul 3, (October, November, December 1982), pp. 243-257.

8. Al-Mala'ika, Nazik. Diwan Nazik Al-Mala'ika, vol. 1, Beirut, 1971.

9. -----. Diwan Nazik al-Mala'ika, vol. 2, Beirut, 1971.

10. -----. Problems in Contemporary Poetry. Beirut 1962; re-printed, Baghdad 1967.

11. -----. Lectures on the Poetry of Ali Mahmud Taha: Study and Criticism. Cairo, 1965.

12. -----. "Yasamin," Al-Adab 6 (3 March 1965), pp. 5-10.

13. -----. "Criticism of The Short Stories of the Past Issue," Al-Adab 7 (12 December, 1965), pp. 69-72.

14. -----. "Literature and Cultural Invasion," Al-Adab 13 (3 March 1965), pp. 3-34.

15. S. Moreh. Movements of Innovation in the Music of Modern Arabic Poetry, Tr. Saad Masluh. Cairo, 1969.

Western Sources

16. Abdel-Malek, Anouar.ed. & tr. Anthologie de la Litterature Arabe Contemporaine. II. Les essais. Paris: 1965, pp. 443-447.

17. Abdul-Hai, Muhamad. Tradition and English and American Influence in Arabic Romantic Poetry. London: 1982, pp. 27-29, 110-112, 119.

18. Ahmed, J. M. "Present Mood in Literature," Atlantic Monthly, 198 (October, 1956), pp. 163-164.

19. -----. "Young Arab Writers Today," Middle East Forum, 33 (No. 7, July 1958), pp. 19-21, 33.

20. -----. "Young Arab Writers Today," Islamic Review, 46 (July-August, 1958), pp. 70-73.

21. Altoma, Salih J. "Iraq and its Contemporary Arabic Literature," The Arab World, 7 (No. 10, November, 1961), pp. 14-15.

22. -----. "Iraq's Contemporary Literature," Islamic Review, 50 (May-June, 1962), pp. 14-15.

23. -----. "Postwar Iraqi Literature: Agonies of Rebirth," Books Abroad, 46 (1972), pp. 211-213.

24. -----. "Iraqi Literature," Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century. Vol 2. New York: 1982, pp. 456-458.

25. Alwan, Mohammed B. "A Bibliography of Modern Arabic Poetry in English Translation," Middle East Journal, 27 (1973), pp. 373-381, esp. P. 378.

26. Anderson, Margaret. Arabic Materials in English Translation. A Bibliography of Works From the Pre-Islamic Period to 1977. Boston: 1980, p. 198.

27. El-Azma, Nazeer. "Free Verse in Modern Arabic Literature." Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University, Bloomington, 1969, pp. 77-82, 114-199.

28. Badawi, M. M. An Anthology of Modern Arabic Poetry. Beirut/Oxford: 1970, pp. xix-xx, xxxv.

29. -----. "Convention and Revolt in Modern Arabic Poetry," Arabic Poetry: Theory and Development, ed. G. E. von Grunebaum. Wiesbaden: 1973, pp. 181-208, esp. P. 203.

30. -----. A Critical Introduction to Modern Arabic Poetry. Cambridge, England: 1975, pp. 228-230.

31. Bellamy, James A. et al. Contemporary Arabic Readers. V. Modern Arabic Poetry. Ann Arbor: 1966, p. 217 (part 2).

32. Berque, Jacques. Cultural Expression in Arab Society Today, tr. Robert W. Stokey. Austin: 1978, pp. 270, 272, 275, 289, 291, 300.

33. Boullata, Issa J. Modern Arab Poets: 1950-1975. Washington, D. C.: 1976, pp. 11-13, 157-158.

34. Boullata, Kamal, ed. Women of the Fertile Crescent: Modern Poetry by Arab Women. Washington, D.C.: 1978, pp. 13-22.

35. Fernea, Elizabeth and Bezirgan, Basima Q. Middle Eastern Muslim Women Speak. Austin: 1977, pp. 331-349.

36. Harris, George L. Iraq: Its People, Its Society, Its Culture. New Haven: 1958, p. 289.

37. Haywood, John A. Modern Arabic Literature: 1800-1970. New York: 1972, pp. 184-185, 187.

38. Jayyusi, Salma Khadra. Trends and Movements in Modern Arabic Poetry. Leiden: 1977. See Index, pp. 865-866.

39. Khouri, Mounah A. "Lewis Awad: A Forgotten Pioneer of the Free Verse Movement," Journal of Arabic Literature, 1(1970), pp. 137-144, esp. 138-139, 143. Reprinted in Issa J. Boullata (ed.) Critical Perspectives on Modern Arabic Literature. Washington D.C.: 1980, pp. 206-213.

40. -----. & Algar, Hamid, ed. & tr. An Anthology of Modern Arabic Poetry. Berkeley: 1974, pp. 15-17, 78-81, 240.

41. Khouri, Mounah A. "Prose Poetry: A Radical Transformation in Contemporary Arabic Poetry," Edibyat 1(1976), pp. 127-149, esp. P. 132. Reprinted in Boullata's Critical Perspectives ..., pp. 280-304.

42. Khulusi, S.A. "Contemporary Poetesses of Iraq," Islamic Review, 38(June, 1950), pp. 40-45, esp. Pp. 42-44.

43. -----. "Atika, A Modern Poetess," Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1950, pp. 149-157, esp. 149.

44. Al-Mala'ika, Nazik. "Pour laver le deshonneur," tr. P. Rossi, see 74: pp. 209-210.

45. -----. "La douleur en chemin," tr. V. Monteil, see 67:100-109.

46. -----. "Funf gesange an den schmerz," tr. Annemarie Schimmel. Fikr wa Fann, 1(No.2, 1963), pp. 34-35, 38-39.

47. -----. "Canciones para el dolor," tr. L. Martinez Martin, see 61: 75-82.

48. -----. "Sur la poesie libre," tr. Anouar Abdel-Malek, see 16:444-447.

49. "Down Hill." The Arab WorM. 12 (October-November, 1966), p. 21. (A short story)

50. -----. "Jamais le visiteur," & "Laver la honte," tr. Luc Norin & Edouard Tarabay. See 72: 176-178.

51. -----. "The Visitor Who Did Not Come," Lotus: Afro-Asian Writings, l(Nos. 2-3, 1968), p. 123.

52. -----. "The Top of the Stairs," tr. Nihad A. Salem. Afro-Asian Poetry. Cairo: 1971, pp. 152-153.

53. -----. "Moonlight," tr. Nihad A. Salem. Lotus: Afro-Asian Writings, (No. 16, 1973), pp. 138-139.

54. -----. "Who Am I?," tr. Mounah Khouri & Hamid Algar, see 40: 78-81. Reprinted in Fernea, see 35:244.

55. -----. "The Visitor Who did Not Come," tr. Shafiq Megally. Journal of Arabic Literature, 7(1976), p. 85.

56. -----. "Five Songs to Pain," tr. Issa Boullata, see 33:11-13.

57. -----. "The Beginnings of the Free Verse Movement," tr. Elizabeth Fernea and Basima Bezirgan, see 35: 232-243.

58. -----. The Viper," tr. Elizabeth Fernea and Basima Bezirgan, see 35: 245-247.

59. -----. "I Am," "Insignificant Woman," "My Silence," "Washing Off Disgrace," "Jamila," tr. Kamal Boullata, see 34: 17-22.

60. -----. "Washing Off Disgrace," "Jamila," "My Silence," tr. Kamal Boullata. Arab Perspectives l(No. 4, July, 1980), pp. 45-46.

61. Martinez Martin, L. "Nazik al-Mala'ka," Cuadernos de la Bibliotica Espanola de Tetuan. 2(1964) 75-82.

62. -----. Antologia de poesia arabe contemporanea. Madrid: 1972, pp. 179-180.

63. Martinez Montavez, Pedro. Poesia arabe contemporanea. Madrid: 1958, pp. 260-261.

64. -----. "Aspectos de la actual literatura feminism arabe," Almenara 1(1971), pp. 85-110.

65. -----. (ed.) Literatura Iraqui Contemporanea. Madrid: 1973. 2nd edition, 1977, pp. 65-68, 155-156, 373-385.

66. -----. Introduction a la literatura arabe moderna. Madrid: 1974, pp. 174,204.

67. Monteil, Vincent. Anthologie bilingue de la litterature arabe contemporaine. Beirut: 1961, pp. 99-109.

68. Moreh, S. "Nazik al-Mala'ika and al-shi'r al-hurr in Modern Arabic Literature," Asian and African Studies, 4(1968), pp. 57-84. Reprinted in his Modern Arabic Poetry. (see below), pp. 198-215.

69. -----. "The Influence of Western Poetry and Particularly T. S. Eliot on Modern Arabic Poetry," Asian and African Studies, 5(1969), pp. 1-50. Reprinted in his Modern Arabic Poetry. (See below), pp. 216-266.

70. -----. Modern Arabic Poetry 1800-1970: The Development of its Forms and Themes Under the Influence of Western Literature. Leiden: 1976. See Index p. 349 and pp. 213, 214, 215.

71. -----. "Technique and Form in Modern Arabic Poetry Up to World War II," Studies in Memory of G. Wiet. Ed. M. Rosen-Ayalon. Jerusalem: 1977, pp. 415-434.

72. Norin, Luc & Tarabay, Edouard, eds. Anthologie de la litterature arabe contemporaine. II. La poesie. Paris: 1967, pp. 23, 176-178.

73. Rejwan, Nissim. "Rejecting Europe's Cultural Influence: Protest of an Iraqi Poetess," Jewish Observer and Middle East Review, 15(No. 22, June 3, 1966), pp. 16-17.

74. Rossi, Pierre. "Impressions sur la poesie d'Irak. Jawahiri, Mardan, Nazik al-Mala'ika, Bayati," Orient (No. 12, 1959), pp. 199-212.

75. Sfeir, George. "Writers in Arabic," The New York Times Book Review, (September 23, 1961), pp. 48-49.

76. Stewart, Desmond. "Contacts with Arab Writers," Middle East Forum, 37(January, 1961), pp. 19-21.

77. Vernet, Juan. Literatura Arabe. Barcelona: 1968, pp. 212-245.

78. Wiet, Gaston. Introduction a la Litterature Arabe. Paris: 1966, pp. 301-303.

Salih J. Altoma is Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, African Studies and Comparative Literature at Indiana University. An earlier version of this article was published in Arabic in a festschrift titled Nazik al-Mala'ika: Dirasat fi al-Shi'r wa al-Sha'ira, edited by Abdullah al-Muhanna in Kuwait in 1985. This article was translated from the Arabic by Saadi A. Simawe with the author's assistance.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Association of Arab-American University Graduates
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Modern Iraqi Literature in English Translation
Author:Altoma, Salih J.
Publication:Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ)
Date:Sep 22, 1997
Previous Article:In memoriam: Muhammad Mahdi al-Jawahiri (1900?-1997).
Next Article:Studies in human psyche and human behavior under political and social pressure: the recent literary works of Fu'ad al-Takarli.

Related Articles
In memoriam: Muhammad Mahdi al-Jawahiri (1900?-1997).
Stirring words: traditions and subversions in the poetry of Muzaffar al-Nawwab.
'The Blind River': self and anxiety in Aziz al-Samawi's poetry.
Iraq's modern Arabic literature in English translation: a preliminary bibliography.
The politics and the poetics of Sa'di Yusuf: the use of the vernacular.
The Arabic Literary Heritage: The Developments of its Genres and Criticism.
The strategy of absence in the poetry of Saadi Youssef.
Poetic immersion: Mutanabbi's descriptive imagery.
Pilgrim clouds: the polymorphous sacred in Indo-Muslim imagination.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters