Modern Sudanese Poetry


Modern Sudanese Poetry

An Anthology

Translated and edited by Adil Babikir
Foreword by Matthew Shenoda, supervising editor

African Poetry Book Series

186 pages


September 2019


$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

September 2019


$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

September 2019


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Spanning more than six decades of Sudan’s post-independence history, this collection features work by some of Sudan’s most renowned modern poets, largely unknown in the United States. Adil Babikir’s extensive introduction provides a conceptual framework to help the English reader understand the cultural context. Translated from Arabic, the collection addresses a wide range of themes—identity, love, politics, Sufism, patriotism, war, and philosophy—capturing the evolution of Sudan’s modern history and cultural intersections.

Modern Sudanese Poetry features voices as diverse as the country’s ethnic, cultural, and natural composition. By bringing these voices together, Babikir provides a glimpse of Sudan’s poetry scene as well as the country’s modern history and post-independence trajectory. 

Author Bio

Adil Babikir is a translator and an Arabic content manager at Mubadala Investment Company in Abu Dhabi. He has translated several works, including Mansi: A Rare Man in His Own Way by Tayeb Salih and two novels by Abdelaziz Baraka Sakin. Matthew Shenoda is a writer and educator whose poems have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies. His latest collection is Seasons of Lotus, Seasons of Bone.


“No list of writing from Sudan would be complete without poetry, and this is a well overdue collection. The excellent selections cover the last six decades and include most of the classical names such as Mohammed Abdul-Hayyand Mahjoub Sharif, as well as some of the younger writers working today. It fills a yawning gap and, hopefully, will inspire others to pursue the same course.”—Jamal Mahjoub, The Guardian

“This is an unprecedented accomplishment not only in translation of modern Sudanese poetry but also scholarship on its history, evolution, poetics, and aesthetics. . . . This book is a great addition to the library of Arab poetry in translation that should appeal to scholars and the general public with interest in Arabic poetry.”—Salah M. Hassan, Goldwin Smith Professor of Africana Studies and History of Art and Visual Studies at Cornell University

“Sudanese literature has long been a significant contributor to Arabic and world letters and culture. The thoughtful, provocative introduction in this anthology, combined with the clear-eyed lyric transformation of the poems into English, honor poetry everywhere. Just as in Iraq, Yemen, Morocco, or the United States, the weight of collective history and ethnic and linguistic diversity emerges to forge these Sudanese poems into art, both bound to and liberated from the national frame. Details matter, nuance is essential. And yet the story of Sudanese poetry is the story of poetry all over the world. From blaze to breeze, this is a beautiful book.”—Fady Joudah, Palestinian American physician and author of the poetry collection The Earth in the Attic

Table of Contents

Foreword, by Matthew Shenoda    
Introduction: Notes on Modern Sudanese Poetry    
Khalil Farah
My Beloved Aazza    
Muhammad el-Mahdi el-Magzoub
Wedding Parade    
Idris Jamma’
A Poet    
In the Spring of Love    
Mohammed el-Fayturi
Dig No Grave for Me    
A Roaming Dervish’s Stanza    
Yaaqut al-Arsh    
Jayli Abdel Rahman
Migrating from Sai    
Mohyiddin Faris
The Wharf and the Walkway Rhythms    
The Horse and the Wind    
Taj el-Sir el-Hassan
An Afro-Asian Song    
El-Nur Osman Abbaker
The Exile and the Kingdom    
Mohammed el-Makki Ibrahim
A Drib of Your Nectar    
A Farm on the Hill    
Two Love Poems and a Carnival    
Songs for October    
Mustapha Sanad
The Old Sea    
The Lost Violins    
Abdel Raheem Abu Zikra
Departure at Night    
The Night Girl    
Ali Abdel Qayyoum
Who Triggered the Stone’s Tongue?     
Muhammad Abdul-Hai
The Signs Ode    
Kamal Elgizouli
A Cell the Size of New Year’s Eve    
Aalim Abbas
The Pre-Eruption Silence    
Mahjoub Sharif
The Homesick Sparrow    
Crazy in Love with You    
I Say It without Fear    
Mahgoub Kbalo
The Golden Scythe Song    
Deng Malo: A Biography    
Pastoral Scriptures    
Fidaili Jamma’
The Silent Rose    
A Sun on the Window    
Walking a Tightrope    
Abdulqadir Alkutayabi
The Shores of Your Eyes    
I Miss Something    
Mohammed el-Hassan Salim Himmaid
Uncle Abdur Raheem    
Nura and the Time-Tested Dream    
Hashim Siddig
A Story of a Revolution    
A Tale of the Rose and the Street    
Azhari Mohammed Ali
A Starting Point    
Al-Saddig al-Raddi
Songs of Solitude    
Rawda el-Haj
Heart’s Confessions    
A New Ebb in the High Tide Season    
Rugaia Warrag
A Frosted Cry    
A Tribute to Winter    
The Spider’s Text: Millennium Messages to Life    
Khalid Hassan Othman
All Alone    
Najlaa Osman Eltom
Under Abundant Shades    
Tuesday’s Dilemma    
An Acacia Bush in Labor    
Mamoun Eltilib
The Fall of Angels    
Boi John Awang
Wrapped in Grief    
Hatim Al Kinani
Nylawo Ayul
On the Bank of River Sobat    
An Amulet for the Mango Tree    
List of Contributors    

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