In this brilliant book, ʻAbdulwāḥid Lu'lu'a translates and introduces eighty poems from one of the pioneers of modern Arabic poetry, Buland Al-Ḥaidari.
Buland Al-Ḥaidari might fairly be considered the fourth pillar holding up the dome of modern Arabic poetry. Alongside his famous contemporaries Nāzik al-Malā'ika, Badre Shākir Al-Sayyāb, and 'Abdulwahhāb Al-Bayyāti, Al-Ḥaidari likewise made significant contributions to the development of twentieth-century Arabic poetry, including the departure from the traditional use of two-hemistich verses in favor of what has been called the Arabic "free verse" form.
A few of Al-Ḥaidari's poems have been translated into English separately, but no book-length translation of his poetry has been published until now. In Buland Al-Ḥaidari and Modern Iraqi Poetry, ʻAbdulwāḥid Lu'lu'a translates eighty of Al-Ḥaidari's most important poems, giving English-speaking readers access to this rich corpus. Lu'lu'a's perceptive introduction acquaints readers with the contours of Al-Ḥaidari's life and situates his work in the context of modern Arabic poetry. The translated pieces not only illustrate the depth of Al-Ḥaidari's poetic imagination but also showcase the development of his style, from the youthful romanticism of his first collection Clay Throb (1946) to the detached pessimism of his Songs of the Dead City (1951). Selections are also included from his later collections Steps in Exile (1965), The Journey of Yellow Letters (1968), and Songs of the Tired Guard (1977). These poems paint a vivid picture of the literary and poetic atmosphere in Baghdad and Iraq from the mid-1940s to the close of the twentieth century.