Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Writing Inside the Guts of a Crow

SHARE THIS

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: , , ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

The 2019 Brittle Paper Awards: Announcing The Winners

The 2019 BP Awards Winners

In November, we announced The 5 Shortlists for The 2019 Brittle Paper Awards. Launched in 2017 to mark our seventh anniversary, The […]

This Blood That Not Even the Mountains Can Hold: Megan Ross Rereads Sarah Godsell’s Liquid Bones

sarah godsell - liquid bones - graph

“this country of blood” It is just under a year since Impepho Press published Sarah Godsell’s second poetry collection, Liquid […]

On Transatlantic Shame | I. S. Jones | Poetry

gage-walker-CCFCMb1Defk-unsplash

nothing is earned unless something is lost. the ocean grants safe passage, but i fear the cost is too great. […]

The 2019 Brittle Paper Award for Poetry: Meet The 5 Finalists

BP Award for Poetry graph (2)

The 5 Shortlists for The 2019 Brittle Paper Awards were announced in November. Begun in 2017 to mark our seventh anniversary, the Awards […]

The 2019 Brittle Paper Anniversary Award: Meet The 6 Finalists

BP Anniversary Award graph

The 5 Shortlists for The 2019 Brittle Paper Awards were announced in November. Begun in 2017 to mark our seventh anniversary, the Awards […]

The 2019 Brittle Paper Award for Creative Nonfiction: Meet The 4 Finalists

BP Award for Creative Nonfiction graph

The 5 Shortlists for The 2019 Brittle Paper Awards were announced in November. Begun in 2017 to mark our seventh anniversary, the Awards […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.