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Writing Inside the Guts of a Crow

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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

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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

  1. Di January 26, 2011 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 January 26, 2011 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.

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