Writing Inside the Guts of a Crow

Ali Ahmad Sa’id also known as Adonis is a Syrian poet. The country he speaks of in the first poem, “A Prophecy,” sounds so much like my own country. Maybe that’s why I cannot read the poem without plunging into sad contemplation. As far as imagery goes, both poems are “gruesomely sensory.” Imagery that evoke the body in a way meant to jar the senses and make the reader respond with something other than the mind.

A Prophecy

To the country dug into our lives like a grave,
to the country etherized, and killed,
a sun rises from our paralyzed history
into our millennial sleep.

A sun without a prayer
that kills the sand’s longevity, and the locusts
and time bursting out of the hills,
and time drying out on the hills
like fungus.

A sun that loves maiming and murder,
that rises from there, behind that bridge…

A Mirror for the Twentieth Century

A coffin that wears the face of a child,
a book
written inside the guts of a crow,
a beast trudging forward, holding a flower,
a stone
breathing inside the lungs of a madman.
This is it.
This is the twentieth century.

Both pieces were published in Guernica in anticipation of the Selected Poems by Adonis published by Yale University Press.

Photo Credits: Maredart.com

Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “Writing Inside the Guts of a Crow” Subscribe

  1. Di 2011/01/26 at 12:37 pm #

    this is pretty intense, havent done much poetry lately, but i can relate with this.
    i really should stop by brittlepaper more often.

  2. Ainehi 2011/01/26 at 4:32 pm #

    Hey Di,

    Thanks for stopping by o. You’re on point girl. Intense is a good way to think about what Adonis is doing him. Adonis is an oddball poet. I have actually only read one collection of his poem titled The Blood of Adonis and I realize that I like him because he does strange things with imagery in a way that unsettles the reader.

Leave a Reply

From Road Nipple to Eating Insects: Silly Things African Writers Only Say on Twitter

 Nnedi Okorafor asks us to eat more insects. Taiye Selasi in Bikini. Zakes Mda is not impressed by Beyonce. Efemia [...]

What’s Weird about Teju Cole Claiming A Shakespearean Heritage?

Teju Cole’s recent New Yorker essay is a timely and engaging piece. Not surprising. On Facebook today he writes, “I gave [...]

Africa’s Mad and Most Loved Emperor | Chaka by Thomas Mofolo | A Book Review

If you’re reading this, you are about to join me on a trip to an early moment in African literary [...]

Would You Read the Bible if it Were a Novel?

There is a part of me that is a bit sad about the waning popularity of the bible in popular [...]

Dear Ms. Paper: Save Me From This Boring African Novel

Dear Ms. Paper: Roughly two months ago, I decided to expand my cultural horizon. I curbed my obsession with Nollywood movies [...]

A Dramatist’s Passion for the Art | Interview with Segun Adefila of Crown Troupe

We didn’t know where we were headed back then. The only thing we were certain of was our passion for [...]