The Poet’s Art and His Nation
Mahmoud Darwish is Pegasus Prize Finalist, Poetry Foundation
Khaled Mattawa is awarded MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.
"A brilliant and illuminating look at one of the greatest Arab poets of all time, by one of the greatest Arab poets of our time."—Reza Aslan, author of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
"Written with fluidity that does justice to the poet he analyzes, Khaled
Mattawa’s Mahmoud Darwish: The Poet’s Arts and His Nation is a
superbly constructed book that contextualizes Darwish’s language,
aesthetics, structures, and devices. Mattawa treats these complexities
with tremendous skill, framing his critique of Darwish in a larger
framework of poetry’s role in the political and cultural discourses that
shaped Palestinian identity."—Steven Salaita, author of Modern Arab American Fiction: A Reader’s Guide
"Mattawa’s homage to Mahmoud Darwish, through a very intelligent
and perceptive reading of some of his most important poems,
reveals a very human side to one of the greatest voices in modern
Arabic poetry."—Terri DeYoung, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization,
University of Washington
Born and raised in Libya, Khaled Mattawa immigrated to the United States as a teenager.
He is associate professor in the English Department at the University of Michigan.
He is the author of several books of poetry, including Tocqueville and Amorisco.
Book Description »[Hide Description »]
In Mahmoud Darwish: The Poet’s Art and His Nation, Mattawa pays tribute
to one of the most celebrated and well-read poets of our era. With
detailed knowledge of Arabic verse and a firm grounding in Palestinian
history, Mattawa explores the ways in which Darwish’s aesthetics have
played a crucial role in shaping and maintaining Palestinian identity and
culture through decades of warfare, attrition, exile, and land confiscation.
Mattawa chronicles the evolution of his poetry, from a young poet igniting
resistance in occupied land to his decades in exile where his work grew in
ambition and scope. In doing so, Mattawa reveals Darwish’s verse to be
both rooted to its place of longing and to transcend place, as it reaches for
the universal and the human.
Table of Contents »[Hide Contents »]
1. A n Introduction: Perennial Tensions
2. The Poet and the National Literature
3. Poet Under Occupation (1964–1971)
4. Poet of National Liberation (1971–1986)
5. To Survive in the World (1986–1993)
6. Who Am I Without Exile? (1995–2008)
7. Parting Words
5 1/2 x 8, pages, works cited, index