Twenty intimate poems by renowned Lebanese poet Jawdat Fakhreddine, translated by his daughter Huda in collaboration with Roger Allen, explore such themes as familial love and connection, displacement, memory, and grief.
Born in 1953 in the small village of Sultaniyeh in south Lebanon, Jawdat Fakhreddine is considered one of the most prominent members of the second generation of modernist Arab poets. Influenced by a childhood bond with nature, the southern landscape of his village, and early readings of classical Arabic poetry, Fakhreddine’s poems bring into conversation modern preoccupations and the Arab poetic tradition. These twenty poems, translated by Fakhreddine’s daughter, Huda, along with translator Roger Allen, form an intimate dialogue between poet and reader, exploring such personal terrain as marriage, fatherhood, and the loss of a parent. Using simple, elegant language, Fakhreddine maintains subtle tensions within these poems, transforming the mundane, the domestic, and the everyday into poetic linguistic events.
“In The Sky that Denied Me, Jawdat Fakhreddine emerges as a supremely gifted elegist, but one whose sense of loss avoids what Derek Walcott once called ‘the standard elegiac.’ Throughout this precisely cadenced and subtly voiced translation, every moment of loss is a moment of recovery shading back into loss.”
Tom Sleigh, award-winning poet and author of numerous collections, including most recently, House of Fact, House of Ruin