New Voices of Arabia – The Poetry

by Al-Bazei, Saad

Poetry in Saudi Arabia today is a dramatic manifestation of the rapid changes that are sweeping not only through the country s literature and culture but also through Saudi life as a whole. The unyielding tension between the forces of change and tradition are nowhere more painfully visible than in the poem. Bringing together three generations of poets – a total of forty, each represented by a number of poems – this anthology reflects the broad spectrum of Saudi poetry over the last half century or more. By linking Hussain Sarhan and Hamza Shehata from the 1950s to Hilda Ismail and Ahmad Kattua in today s world, and by juxtaposing the traditional rhythms of the classical poem with the diametrically opposite poetics of the prose poem, this anthology offers a balanced picture of how poetry has evolved in Saudi Arabia. The anthology includes translations of works by Mohammad Al-Ali, Fawziah Abu Khalid, Ghazi Al-Qussaibi, Mohammad Al-Thubaiti and Ali Al-Dumaini.