Short reviews: poetry

Short reviews: poetry

I used to read a lot of poetry in French, but I’m extremely picky in English and can only appreciate very short verses. Recently, I read 2 very interesting books of poems:

  Arabian Love poems Brown Girl Dreaming

Arabian Love Poems, by Nizar Kabbani, or Qabbani

As some of you may know, among other things I teach French on line, through Skype. I have students from all over the world, from all walks or life, which makes me discover lots of fascinating things in areas I would not discover by myself.
One of my students who has a very wide culture and is learning many languages, spoke to me about Nizar Kabbani. He was actually appalled I had never heard about him. When I read more about him, I was indeed quite ashamed.

I was fortunate to be able to find this bilingual edition in my library –even though alas I cannot understand the original.
Anyway the English translation is beautiful, and there’s a fascinating introduction presenting this famous Syrian poet, one of the most revered contemporary poets in the Arab world, and his ideas.
I like how Goodreads presents him:

Kabbani was a poet of great simplicity – direct, spontaneous, musical, using the language of everyday life. He was a ceaseless campaigner for women’s rights, and his verses praise the beauty of the female body, and of love. He was an Arab nationalist, yet he criticized Arab dictators and the lack of freedom in the Arab world.

And here is a perfect example:

In the summer
I stretch out on the shore
And think of you
Had I told the sea
What I felt for you,
It would have left its shores,
Its shells,
Its fish,
And followed me.

Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson

I discovered this year that I could watch the National Book Award Ceremony in free online live streaming. It was very interesting, I enjoyed Gaiman’s speech honoring Ursula K. Le Guin and her own speech. And I discovered new authors. I was impressed by Jacqueline Woodson and decided to read her book who won the Award in the category Young People’s Literature.

It is really a unique book, as Woodson uses the poetry genre to tell her own story: how it was like to grow up as an African American in between South Carolina and New York in the 1960s and 1970s. Her poems are very easy to understand, giving voice to her young self. They feel deeply authentic and moving, as they deal of course with the hot social and racial issues, but also her growing love of words and her dreams of becoming a writer one day.
This is really a beautiful book.

Here are 2 short passages:

woodson1

woodson2

 HAVE YOU READ THESE AUTHORS?
HAVE YOU DISCOVERED ANY POET THIS YEAR?

Sunday Post #15 – 12/14/14

Sunday Post

 

 

 

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It’s a chance to share news.
A post to recap the past week on your blog,
showcase books and things we have received.
Share news about what is coming up on your blog
for the week ahead.
See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

***

 

This post also counts for
Mailbox Monday2 it's Monday www wednesdays

Mailbox Monday,
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
and WWW Wednesdays

Crazy busy here, as always, and as everyone I guess.
Tough to balance reading, blog reading, review writing, but I read some awesome books since last time I did a Sunday post, so here you are

BOOKS JUST READ
(since my Sunday Post #14)

Light And Dark      The Innovators The Mystic of Fire and Light

 The Strange Library Brown Girl Dreaming Hercule Poirot's Christmas

The Unquiet Bones

Aoleon the Martian Girl

Not yet on Goodreads, so cannot count for my Year total, it should #100 books of my year, not 99

    click on the covers to know more about them

CURRENTLY READING

Alex      The Shadow of the Wind

  • Alex, by Pierre Lemaitre, another book shipped by Quercus!
    Pierre Lemaitre won last year le Prix Goncourt for
    Au revoir là-haut, historical novel on WWI.
    Before that, he was most famous for his thrillers,
    and Irene that I read was so fabulous. This is the sequel
  • Audio book: The Shadow of the Wind,
    I am so so very disappointed by this book I so wanted to love.
    I keep listening just because the narrator is awesome

BOOKS UP NEXT

   The Oblate's Confession The Goldfinch

  1. The Oblate’s Confession, histfic received for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
  2. The Goldfinch, finally! I’m going to try to listen to it.
    What do you think? Has any of you listened to it?
  3. Before the end of the year, I’d like to read 2 more Christmas mysteries,
    and maybe 3 more books

 LAST WEEK ON WORDS AND PEACE
and FRANCE BOOK TOUR

COMING UP ON WAP and FBT

  • 12/16: From the Fifteenth District, by Mavis Gallant: release day
  • Some tour quotations
  • Some giveaway winners
  • Hopefully some reviews!!

 

BOOK REVIEW MOST READ THIS PAST WEEK

Therapy of Spiritual Illnesses

click on the cover to know more about it

 

POST MOST VIEWED ON FRANCE BOOK TOURS

Sudetenland Coverclick on the cover to know more about it
and enter the giveaway!

 

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

 Taking the Cross cover We'll always have Paris cover The Shiro Project

        Sudetenland Cover  02_Omphalos Cover
The Omphalos giveaway ends tonight! 

click on each cover to access the giveaway entry form

BOOKS ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR

  The Last Campaign of Marianne Tambour The Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant-Garde in France, 1885 to World War I Skylight
plus 3 more

BOOKS RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK

 While Beauty Slept Daily Painting

While Beauty Slept:
won at a book blogger,
sorry I forgot who, and can’t find the record in my email

Daily Painting:
received from Blogging for Books for review

 CHECKED OUT AT THE LIBRARY

Drawing: Forest Animals: Learn to draw majestic wildlife step by step

HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?