December 17, 2006

Samih Al-Qasim, Sadder than Water: New & Selected Poems, trans. Nazih Kassis (Ibis, 2006). 179 pages. $15.95.
This bilingual collection brings together poems from Samih al-Qasim's (b 1939) some 30-odd books of poems. Recognized as one of the more prominent Palestinian literary resistance figures, his poems often (at least in those presented here) depict the struggles within his nation within a nation:
"Excerpt from an Inquest"
--And what do you call this country?
--My country.
--So you admit it?
--Yes, sir. I admit it.
I am not a professional tourist.
--Do you say "my country"?
--I say "my country."
--And where is my country?
--Your country.
--And where is your country?
--My country (ll. 1-11)



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