Trying Again to Stop Time: Selected Poems
Full details for this title
|Library of Congress
||Canadian poetry, Dichtung - kurdische - Irak - Geschichte 2001 ff
||Poetry Texts & Poetry Anthologies
Description of this Electronic Book
"It's a losing battle:
my words have no chance against time.
unable to catch up with imagination,
I leave the battle, candle in hand,
in complete darkness."
- from "Trying Again to Stop Time"
Jalal Barzanji chronicles the path of exile and estrangement from his beloved native Kurdistan to his chosen home in Canada. His poems speak of the tension that exists between the place of one's birth and an adoptive land, of that delicate dance that happens in the face of censorship and oppression. In defiance of Saddam Hussein's call for sycophantic political verse, he turns to the natural world to reference a mournful state of loss, longing, alienation, and melancholy. Barzanji's poetry is infused with the richness of the Middle East, but underlying it all is a close affinity to Western Modernists. In those moments where language and culture collide and co-operate, Barzanji carves out a strong voice of opposition to political oppression. Readers will return to his work again and again, just as viewers return to a favourite painting.
"Like contemporary poets Taslima Nasrin, Adonis, Yehuda Amichai, and Shuntaro Tanikawa, Barzanji's is a voice in which the native willingly mutates into the global."
- Sabah A. Salih, Translator
"The Kurdish question stands tall in our age as yet another emblematic paradigm of the violence enacted on a people in the name of the nation-state. Barzanji's poetry is lovely, with frequent piercing tender moments and visions of the daily and the ordinary. The translation reads smoothly and naturally, highlighting the spoken quality of the poems, the loving and wounded quality of their speaker."
- Fady Joudah, translator of Ghassan Zaqtan's Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me, and Other Poems, winner of the 2013 International Griffin Poetry Prize
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
Winner of AAUP Book, Jacket & Journal Show - Poetry & Literature 2016 (United States)
Winner of New York Book Show/Trade 2016 (United States)
Short-listed for Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry - Alberta Literary Awards 2016 (Canada)
||Today's book of poetry believes that poetry connects us, makes us more human.... Barzanji has been part of an oppressed minority in his own country, an exile, a refugee and an immigrant.... By illuminating his world of exile Barzanji shines a light on the whole world. His poems are witness and journey.... Barzanji has a surprisingly light touch considering the depths he is mining, it surprises the reader again and again.... Jalal Barzanji's story is a familiar one but it is not often shared, rendered into art. These poems shine."
Jalal Barzanji is a highly respected Kurdish poet and journalist. Since 1970 he has published seven books of poetry and numerous critical columns. After his two-year imprisonment by Saddam Hussein's regime in the late 1980s and further political repression into the 1990s, Barzanji and his family fled to Turkey, eventually immigrating to Edmonton, Canada. Sabah A. Salih is a professor of English at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania.