Cover: Baghdad: The City in Verse, from Harvard University PressCover: Baghdad in HARDCOVER

Baghdad

The City in Verse

Edited and translated by Reuven Snir

Foreword by Roger Allen

Afterword by Abdul Kader El Janabi

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HARDCOVER

$29.95 • £20.00 • €24.00

ISBN 9780674725218

Publication: November 2013

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384 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

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  • Foreword by Roger Allen
  • Preface
  • Translator’s Note
  • Introduction
  • [The Poems]
    • Muti‘ ibn Iyas (704–85)
      • [Stars Whirling in the Dark]
      • [Raindrops of Dust]
    • ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak (736–97)
      • [The Pious Ascetic in Baghdad]
    • Anon.
      • [Paradise Lost]
    • Anon.
      • [House of Calamity]
    • Anon.
      • [Men’s Souls Are Sick]
    • Anon.
      • [I Am Leaving]
    • Anon.
      • [Mean as They Are]
    • Anon.
      • [Ornamented Rhetoric and Lies]
    • Anon.
      • [Comparison]
    • Anon.
      • [Never Again]
    • al-‘Abbas ibn al-Ahnaf (750–809)
      • [Oh Sun of Baghdad!]
      • [From Harun al-Rashid’s Mouth]
      • [The Eye’s Greatest Delight]
    • Harun al-Rashid (763–809)
      • [I Will Not Forgive Myself]
    • Shamsa (eighth century)
      • [Separation]
    • Anon.
      • [I Weep Blood]
    • Anon.
      • [Compulsory Pilgrimage]
    • Mansur al-Namari (?–809)
      • [Breeze]
    • Ashja‘ al-Sulami (?–810)
      • [Palaces]
    • Abu Nuwas (al-Hasan ibn Hani al-Hakami) (747–62 to 813–15)
      • [Pilgrimage]
      • [Ships]
      • [April Morning]
    • ‘Inan (eighth century)
      • [Plowing]
    • ‘Amr ibn ‘Abd al-Malik al-Warraq (?–815)
      • [An Evil Eye]
      • [Disgrace]
    • Tahir ibn al-Husayn al-Khuza‘i (776–822)
      • [Your Night, Oh Baghdad]
    • ‘Ali ibn Jabala al-Ansari (known as al-‘Akawwak) (776–828)
      • [Exile]
    • Ishaq al-Khuraymi (?–829)
      • [Elegy]
    • Ishaq al-Mawsili (767–850)
      • [Weeping]
    • Al-Husayn ibn al-Dahhak (778–870)
      • [Only Sorrow]
      • [Their Veils Were Torn]
    • ‘Abd Allah ibn Tahir (798–844)
      • [The Wailing Pigeon]
    • ‘Umara ibn ‘Aqil (798–853)
      • [Dung]
      • [Tranquil Abode]
      • [Nothing Is Like Baghdad]
    • ‘Ali ibn al-Jahm (804–63)
      • [Does’ Eyes]
      • [At al-Karkh’s Gate]
      • [Ceaseless Rain]
    • ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad al-Bafi (?–893)
      • [Communion]
    • Ibn Dust (ninth century)
      • [Tuesday]
    • Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn Ahmad al-Brujardi (ninth century)
      • [Tuesday Is for Pleasure]
    • al-Walid ibn ‘Ubayd Allah al-Buhturi (820–97)
      • [Desire between Ribs]
    • Ibn al-Rumi (836–96)
      • [Tuesday Is Not Only Tuesday]
      • [Imagination]
      • [Wahid, the Singer]
      • [Red-Dyed Finger]
    • Adam ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Umawi (ninth century)
      • [Deprived of Sleep]
    • Abu al-‘Aliya (ninth century)
      • [The Hand of Generosity Is Crippled]
    • ‘Ali ibn Abi Hashim (tenth century)
      • [Builders Build for Ruins]
    • ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Mu‘tazz (861–909)
      • [The Traces of Her Bite]
      • [Squeezed by an Old Woman]
      • [Thick Smoke]
      • [Waistbands]
      • [White Roses]
      • [Full of Blood]
    • Muhammad ibn Dawud al-Isfahani (868–909)
      • [Pain of Skinning]
    • ‘Ubayd Allah ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Tahir (?–913)
      • [Could a Lover Leave?]
    • ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Wasiti (?–919)
      • [Temple for the Hearts]
    • al-Husayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj (858–922)
      • [Tell the Gazelle]
      • [Ordained by Christ]
      • [I Am Whom I Love]
      • [States]
    • Abu ‘Abd Allah Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Niftawayhi (858–935)
      • [Perpetual Rain]
    • Anon. (tenth century)
      • [Only Death]
    • Anon. (tenth century)
      • [The Breast Beater]
    • Ibn al-Tammar al-Wasiti (tenth century)
      • [Golden Bridge]
    • ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al-Tanukhi (892–953)
      • [Moon and River]
    • Mansur ibn Kayghlagh (?–960)
      • [Moon]
    • Abu Ishaq al-Sabi (925–94)
      • [Basra and Baghdad]
    • Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Jurjani (928–1002)
      • [Garments of Mourning]
      • [Downpour of Tears]
    • al-Sharif al-Radi (930–77)
      • [Camels’ Saliva]
    • al-Tahir ibn al-Muzaff ar ibn Tahir al-Khazin (tenth century?)
      • [Sweeter than Wine]
    • ‘Ali ibn al-Faraj al-Shafi‘i (tenth century?)
      • [Elephants on Mercury]
    • Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Salami (947–1002)
      • [Busy Square]
    • Ma‘dan al-Taghlibi (eleventh century)
      • [Promised Land]
    • Abu Sa‘d Muhmmad ibn ‘Ali ibn Khalaf al-Nayramani (?–1023)
      • [I Am Your Ransom]
    • ‘Ali ibn Zurayq Abu al-Hasan al-Baghdadi (?–1029)
      • [Moon over Baghdad]
      • [Baghdad’s People]
    • Abu Muhammad ‘Abd al- Wahhab al-Maliki (?–1031)
      • [Baghdad’s Air]
      • [A Qur’an in an Unbeliever’s House]
      • [Like a Friend]
    • al-Sharif al-Murtada (965–1044)
      • [Gazelle]
    • Abu al-‘Ala’ al-Ma‘arri (973–1058)
      • [Love]
      • [Farewell]
      • [Sadness]
      • [Deserted Beloved]
      • [Oh Treasurer!]
    • Abu al-Ma‘ali (1028–85)
      • [Bearded Boy]
    • Abu al-Fadl ibn Muhammad al-Khazin al-Katib (?–1131)
      • [‘Antar and ‘Abla]
      • [No Nobleman in the Valley]
    • Usama ibn Munqidh (1095–1188)
      • [Scales of Justice]
    • Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Shumay‘a al-Baghdadi (thirteenth century)
      • [The “How Are You?” People]
    • Muhyi al-Din ibn al-‘Arabi (1165–1240)
      • [Melancholic Dove]
      • [The Most Beloved City]
    • Majd al-Din Husayn ibn al-Dawami (thirteenth century)
      • [Earthquake]
    • al-Majd al-Nashabi (?–1259)
      • [Turning a Child’s Hair White]
    • Taqi al-Din ibn Abi al-Yusr (1193–1273)
      • [Burned to Ashes]
    • Sa‘di Shirazi (1219–94)
      • [A Bird in a Falcon’s Grip]
    • Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Kufi (1226–76)
      • [Kings and Slaves]
    • Shams al-Din Mahmud ibn Ahmad al-Hashimi al-Hanafi (thirteenth century)
      • [Stars to Be Followed]
      • [Vow of Fidelity]
    • • • • [See note below] • • •
    • Abu al-Khayr ‘Abd al-Rahman Zayn al-Din al-Suwaydi (1722–86)
      • [Tears and Weeping]
    • ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Jamil (1780–1863)
      • [Complaint]
      • [Inner Storm]
      • [Once Glory Nested Here]
    • Shihab al-Din Abu al-Thana’ Mammud al-Alusi (1803–54)
      • [Longing and Craving]
    • Radi al-Qazwini (1819–68)
      • [Baghdad and Tibriz]
    • ‘Abd al-Ghaffar al-Akhras al-Mawsili (1805–72)
      • [Peace Be with Baghdad]
    • ‘Abd al-Hamid al-Shawi (1828–98)
      • [I Remember Baghdad]
    • Ahmad al-Shawi (1844–99)
      • [Memory]
      • [Leaders]
    • Jamil Sidqi al-Zahawi (1863–1936)
      • [Baghdad Days]
      • [Behind Bars]
      • [Migration]
    • Ahmad Shawqi (1868–1932)
      • [Baghdad and Rome]
    • Hafiz Ibrahim (1871–1932)
      • [Tenderness and Gentleness]
    • Ma‘ruf al-Rusafi (1875–1945)
      • [The Bridge]
      • [The Flood]
      • Oh Lover of the Orient!
    • Iliyya Abu Madi (1889–1957)
      • When Fate Came Knocking
    • Anwar Sha’ul (1904–84)
      • [Happy in Baghdad]
      • [Love of the Arabs]
    • Murad Michael [Murad Mikha’il] (1906–86)
      • Oh My Fatherland! [Excerpts]
    • Mir Basri (1911–2006)
      • [Oh Friends of Life!]
    • Mishil Haddad (1919–96)
      • The Books
    • Nizar Qabbani (1923–98)
      • A Baghdadi Song
      • Glory to the Long Plaits
    • Nazik al-Mala’ika (1923–2007)
      • The Passionate River
    • Ibrahim Ovadia (1924–2006)
      • A Guest in Tehran
    • ‘Ali Sidqi ‘Abd al-Qadir (1924–2008)
      • Baghdad and the Black Eyes
    • Badr Shakir al-Sayyab (1926–64)
      • Death the Fox
      • Brothel
      • Because I Am a Stranger
    • Buland al-Haydari (1926–96)
      • On the Way of Exile from Baghdad
      • The City That Was Lost because of Her Silence
      • Apology
    • ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Bayyati (1926–99)
      • A Sigh in Baghdad
      • The City
      • An Elegy to an Unborn City
      • Words on al-Sayyab’s Tomb
      • A Profile of a City
      • Al-‘Abbas ibn al-Ahnaf: Impossible Love
    • Shadhil Taqa (1929–74)
      • And When We Took Over Her
    • Adonis [Adunis] (1930–)
      • Elegy for al-Hallaj
      • Poetry Presses Her Lips to Baghdad’s Breast (Baghdad 1969)
      • Salute to Baghdad
      • [Time Crushes into Baghdad’s Body]
    • Muhammad Jamil Shalash (1930–)
      • Baghdad and Dawn
    • Salah ‘Abd al-Sabur (1931–81)
      • The Tatars Have Attacked
    • Sa‘di Yusuf (1934–)
      • The New Baghdad
      • Solitude
      • Baghdad
      • The Spoliation
    • Ahmad ‘Abd al-Mu‘ti Hijazi (1935–)
      • A Poem for Baghdad
    • Sadiq al-Sa’igh (1938–)
      • This Is Baghdad… [Excerpts]
    • Samih al-Qasim (1939–)
      • Baghdad… [Excerpts]
    • Fadil al-‘Azzawi (1940–)
      • Mr. Edward Luka’s Profession
      • In Baghdad’s Night
      • The Ten New Commandments
      • Forgotten Maps
    • Sami Mahdi (1940–)
      • Ruins
    • May Muzaffar (1940–)
      • The City
    • Mahmud Darwish (1941–2008)
      • Iraq’s Night Is Long
    • Su‘ad al-Sabah (1942–)
      • Hulagu
      • Below Zero
    • Sharif al-Rubay‘i (1943–97)
      • Harun al-Rashid
    • Sargon Boulus [Sarkun Bulus] (1944–2007)
      • In the Garden of Sa‘di Shirazi (When He Was in Prison)
      • Hulagu Praises Himself
      • There
      • Hangman
      • I Have Come to You from There
      • Hulagu (New Series)
      • An Elegy for al-Sindibad Cinema
    • Abdul Kader El Janabi [‘Abd al-Qadir al-Janabi] (1944–)
      • One Day We Will Have a History
      • The Immigrants of the Interior
      • What a Moment Is That
      • Bildung
      • In Baghdad, Where My Past Generation Would Be
    • Faruq Juwayda (1945–)
      • Baghdad, Don’t Be in Pain! [Excerpts]
    • ‘Ali Ja‘far al-‘Allaq (1945–)
      • Sketches in the Notebooks of Ibn Zurayq al-Baghdadi
    • ‘Abd al-Rahman Touhmazi [‘Abd al-Rahman Tuhmazi] (1946–)
      • What Do You Want?
    • Bushra al-Bustani (1950–)
      • A Sorrowful Melody
    • Ronny Someck (1951–)
      • Baghdad, February 1991
      • The Shaving Razor That Cut the Metaphor of Poetry
      • A Personal Note on the Margin of a Renewal Form for an Iraqi Passport
    • Wafa’ ‘Abd al-Razzaq (1952–)
      • The River
    • Ahlam Mustaghanimi (1953–)
      • [Baghdad’s Date Palms Apologize to You]
    • Ibrahim Zaydan (1960–) and Qays Majid al-Mawla (196?–)
      • A Joint Poem on the Live Half and the Dead Half
    • ‘Abid ‘Ali al-Rammahi (1967–)
      • Baghdad, Sing!
    • Sinan Antoon [Sinan Antun] (1967–)
      • A Letter to al-Mutanabbi (Street)
      • The Milky Way
      • Illumination
      • Wars
    • Dalya Riyad (1970–)
      • The Myth of the Tigris and Euphrates
      • Roadmap
    • Manal al-Shaykh (1971–)
      • Baghdad
  • Afterword: Being a Baghdadi Poet: A Testimony, by Abdul Kader El Janabi
  • References
  • Index of Poets
  • Index of Titles

[From the Introduction, on the destruction of Baghdad in 1258: “Hulagu (1217–65), the Mongol conqueror and founder of the Il-Khanid dynasty of Persia, launched a wave of conquests throughout the Islamic world. After direct control of much of the Islamic world south of the Oxus had slipped from the hands of the Mongols, Hulagu was entrusted by the Great Khan Mongke with the task of recovering and consolidating the Mongol conquests in western Asia… His army sacked the city and the killing, looting, and burning lasted for several days. The number killed during the fifty-day siege was estimated to be between 800,000 and 1,300,000. According to some accounts, the Tigris and Euphrates ran red with the blood of scholars. Most of the city’s monuments were wrecked and burned, and the famous libraries of Baghdad, including the House of Wisdom, were eradicated. Poems and chronicles describe how copies of the Qur’an “became cattle’s fodder.” Books were used to make a passage across the Tigris: “The water of the river became black because of the ink of the books.”… As a result of these events, Baghdad remained depopulated and in ruins for several centuries, and the event is conventionally regarded as the end of the Islamic golden age.”]