5 thoughts on “Poems of Arab Andalusia

  1. While I don’t consider this “Islamic poetry” this small collection of poems is really beautiful. If you love spain, andalusia, the islamic influence, love, metaphoric love, you’ll really enjoy this!
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. The poems were originally in Arabic, then Spanish by Garcia Gomez and now in English. Although the poems are still fresh, and thoughtful, it is better to know the command of early Arab poetry. As well, don’t be dissapointed my Muslim brothers and sisters, it is not “Islamic poetry” as I thought when i purchased it. Many of the poems are love stories as well.

    The content is very diverse, and that is nice as well, along with some well known Spanish poets that we have all heard of before makes the book a nice keep sake. If you are a poetry lover I would get the book anyway, where else can you get a text with Andalusian poets in English. I would definately recommend WISODOMS OF ISLAM if you would like a wonderful book in content, spiritual odes, and real love! For Allah that is!
    Rating: 4 / 5

  3. What a wonderful selection of poems – each a gem with its own perfection: “her modesty turns / turns pearl into carnelian” or “The skin of the sky / is as smooth as the pelt / or the river”.

    Certainly the frequent references to wine and love remind one that the poetry has an Arab origin. But there is also a sense of non-Arab place as in “The Valley of Almeria”.

    The poems witness Spain as the border – a moving border – between the Arab and European worlds. As such, this too slim volume provides context for both Spanish and Arabic poetry.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. So much of the world would relegate Arabs to an intellectual and cultural dustbin, not realizing that at one time Spain’s Andalucia — like Baghdad and Damascus — were the world’s intellectual centers while central Europe wallowed in the Dark Ages. This collection goes a long way in restoring Arab poets to their rightful place in the great literature of the world, providing the lover of poetry with a mesmerizing feast of complex and extended meataphors. Highly recommended to say the least!
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. I love poetry and I love the history of al-Andalus, so I raced through this book. The poetry is both beautiful and moving. Franzen’s introduction states that this is a translation from a translation (Arabic to Spanish to English) so purists who speak either Arabic or Spanish may want to track down these poems in either the original or the first-remove. I do not speak either Arabic or Spanish and so cannot testify to Franzen’s fidelity to the Arabic verse. I preferred Franzen to A.J. Arberry’s more direct translation, however. Franzen’s translations definitely work as emotionally powerful poetry.
    Rating: 4 / 5

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