Adonis, Welcoming the Wind and the Trees

Publication 2016

Adonis, Welcoming the Wind and the Trees

Translated by: Kata Keresztély, Michał Grabowski

Editor: Magdalena Koperska

Cover design and calligraphies: Kata Keresztély

Publisher: Wydawnictwo Anagram

A selection of poems by one of the most widely read Arabic-language poets, nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature, Ali Ahmad Said Esber, writing under the pseudonym Adonis.

Adonis’s poetry stands out from among not only cotemporary Arabic-language poetry, but poetry in general. His verbal economy combined with apt observations intrigue and challenge both the translator and the reader.

The picturesque landscape outlined by the Master is created in a rather particular place: high in a glass skyscraper in La Defense, a district of the Paris Metropolitan Area, where Adonis has his artistic studio. In the concrete surroundings colourful nature is conjured up, and the bustling streets of Paris, where the Poet takes a stroll every day in his famous red shawl, become transposed into the peace emanating from his verses. This contrast allows us to realise to what extent Adonis’s poetry is not a result of a superficial observation of the surroundings, but stems from a profound observation of people and nature, from having understood the surrounding world.

Michał Grabowski