Buland Al-Haidari (1926–1996) — born to a prominent Kurdish family in northern Iraq — grew up in the streets of Baghdad — reprieved minutes before a death sentence was to be carried out — lived and died in exile… a fascinating story, all the more so because of his importance as a leading modernizer of the Arabic literary tradition. Along with a small group of Iraqi poets, he began writing in free verse and treating personal and everyday life as worthy of a poet’s attention. This is the brilliance of Al-Hairdari’s poetry. He expresses the effect of political violence and the sorrow of living in exile with such intimacy, using the mundane details of life.
His first collection, ... more »
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Buland Al-Haidari Poems
A False Step
Winter's sharp blade cut into the platform, The storm miaowed like A cat,
O mailman, What is your desire of me?
The same road, The same houses,
Two damaged arteries The first in the heart
You arrived with the paddle
You arrived with the paddle and there was,
Age of the Rubber Seals
Oh Age of ours (Age of rubber seals,
Another winter, And here am I,
Comments about Buland Al-Haidari
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A False Step
Winter's sharp blade cut into the platform,
The storm miaowed like A cat,
Over the rails
Swung an ancient lamp,
And our frugal village
Quivered in its light.
''what will I do in the city?''
She asked me:
'What will you do in the city?
Down its long streets
Your ignorant steps will go astray
And its blind alleys
Will swallow you up.
Night will glow in your heart's numbed depths,
And sad longings spring up.
What will you do there, without a friend?
No, there's no friend to be found in a city.''
You laughed at me,
And still I waited for the ...