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Flowers of flame: unheard voices of Iraq

by Sadek Mohammed; et al

  Book : State or province government publication

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Flowers of Flame: the war through Iraqi eyes   (2008-08-27)

Excellent

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by danveach

   Flowers of Flame is the first collection of Iraqi poetry in English since the Iraq War began in 2003. In it, we see the events of the war through Iraqi eyes: the invasion, the fall of Saddam's statue, his trial and execution, the sectarian strife, the hardships of the people, and their hopes and dreams of a better future. Amazingly, this anthology was collected by two Iraqi poets and translators, Sadek Mohammed and Soheil Najm, who have been living and working in Baghdad throughout the war.

   As editor of the international poetry journal Atlanta Review, I was entrusted by the Iraqis with this remarkable manuscript. Together with Haider Al-Kabi, an Iraqi poet in exile in the U.S., we completed the translation of the poems, striving for a highly faithful rendition that would also be real and enjoyable poetry in English.

   An initial selection of the poems appeared in Atlanta Review's IRAQ Issue (Spring/Summer 2007) and met with great enthusiasm from both American and Iraqi readers. An Iraqi critic said "I don't see why these poems should not be recited in churches like hymns and prayers." Many American readers echoed this thought, one declaring that this book should be read in "every church, every classroom, and every town hall meeting in America." Most touchingly, an Iraqi emergency room doctor in Baghdad, someone who has surely seen the worst of this war, told us that these poems had brought him to tears.

   I hope you enjoy the poems, and look forward to hearing your thoughts on this remarkable literary and historical document of our times.

Dan Veach
Editor, Atlanta Review

 




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