Welcome to Kalamna, the student blog of the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at NYU.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day from Nizar Qabbani

I am not, normally, a huge Qabbani fan. During a semester-long tutorial under a professor who had written his thesis on Qabbani's use of color (I think- maybe it was just the color green), I remembered thinking many times Haven't we read that poem already? The man was certainly capable of turning out memorable and evocative work, but also prolific and forgetful enough to reproduce some of it in whole or in part.

But now that Valentine's Day is upon us, or as in Arabic, "The Holiday of Love," it's time for unqualified Qabbani detractors like myself, and perhaps even qualified detractors, to sit back and appreciate the work that has made him so irritatingly popular.

The wonderful M. Lynx Qualey over at Arabic Literature (In English) has taken a break from writing recommendations of revolutionary literature to put together a veritable V-Day celebration of Qabbani for all to enjoy, in both English and Arabic.

Whether my ex-professor's taste or my own inattention is to blame, I don't think I have read these poems before.

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