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

Ifemelu Comes to Life in Adichie’s New Blog

Last time, I brought you Adichie’s fashion blog—Chimamanda Style Files—managed by “her team.” Hopefully you’ve been popping by the blog [...]

Ngugi Is Favored to Win the Nobel Prize, Says Swedish Betting Firm

It’s barely a month before the next Noble Laureate is announced, so excitement is starting to build up. But for [...]

Slamming Binyavanga for Slamming the Caine Prize | by Obinna Udenwe

  In a time long forgot, a bird called Nza, one of the tiniest birds ever created by God, finished [...]

N. Bulawayo on Literary Success, Giving Back, and Writivism | Interviewed by Rebecca Rwakabukoza

NoViolet Bulawayo is a Zimbabwean author and Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Her debut novel We Need New Names was [...]

Dear Ms. Paper: Can I Dump Him For Not Knowing Who Achebe Is?

Dear Ms. Paper: I recently graduated from University of Lagos with a first-class degree in History. I completed my National [...]

EVENT: Aminatta Forna and E.C. Osondu in New York City

For those in New York, here is a free, high-profile literary event to mark on your calendars. Scottish Sierra Leonean [...]