Saadi Youssef

(Basra)

Saadi Youssef
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Saadi Yousef (Arabic: سعدي يوسف‎) (born 1934 near Basra, Iraq) is an Iraqi author, poet, journalist, publisher, and political activist.[1] He has published thirty volumes of poetry and seven books of prose.
Saadi Yousef studied Arabic literature in Baghdad.[1] He was influenced by the free verse of Badr Shakir al-Sayyab, Shathel Taqa and Abd al-Wahhab Al-Bayyati and was also involved in politics from an early age, leaving the country permanently in 1979 after Saddam Hussein's rise to power. At the time his work was heavily influenced by his socialist and anti-imperialist sympathies but has since also taken a more introspective, lyrical turn. He has also translated many well-known ... more »

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  • Mary Morstan (9/21/2013 8:00:00 AM)

    Thanks for posting these poems. Such a great poet.

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Best Poem of Saadi Youssef

America, America

God save America
My home sweet home!
The French general who raised his tricolour
over Nagrat al-Salman where I was a prisoner thirty years ago . . .
in the middle of that U-turn
that split the back of the Iraqi army,
the general who loved St Emilion wines
called Nagrat al-Salman a fort . . .
Of the surface of the earth, generals know only two dimensions:
whatever rises is a fort
whatever spreads is a battlefield.
How ignorant the general was!
But Liberation was better versed in topography.
The Iraqi boy who conquered her front page
sat carbonised ...

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