The Memory of Silence

ISBN: 9789382749356
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Author

Imprint

Publication Year

2016

Language

English

Edition

1

Binding

Paperback

Pages

94

$16

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About the Book

Ashraf Aboul-Yazid breaks his silence, but in soft whispers. Like the soft susurration of the title of his first book of poems Washwashat Al Bahr (the Whisper of the Sea), his voice speaks to our soul directly, needing no aural recourse. His memories are a map rolled open, containing multitudes- cites and rivers, balconies and butterflies, evenings and sadness. We enter this atlas that is Aboul-Yazid’s selection of poems from his larger oeuvre and are introduced to one of Egypt’s most prolific poets, novelists, translators and literary critics. His poems evoke wehmut, a melancholy located in the acceptance of our transitory-ness in this world, which we inhabit but for two days- ‘A day to open his arms for friends/ And a day for hugging their mirage.’ In the Middle East of the present, beset with strife and displacement, his words are the many cuts on our complacency, rousing us from the safe acts of reading poetry in a book, bringing us face to face with protagonists of a history not of their own making. Those who are cursed to ‘know a homeland’ that is like a visa’. Those, beset with the weight of the past, stand exposed. ‘In the heavy rain; No one feels’ A lonely drop. Aboul-Yazid’s soft voice recounts memories from decades of remembering, mingling beauty and sadness, rising out from the depths of the Nile, into the balconies and mashrabiyas of Benha his hometown, and beyond into a poet?s state of permanent exile. – Mustansir Dalvi poet, translator and cultural theorist