Friday, August 10, 2007


Back-cover blurb for Ahmed Hashim's BAGHDAD IN HAIKU'S EYES : Only the Donkey Knew the Truth

In a sense the poet is forever at war though Heraclitus isnt my only reference; moreso that vestige of Romanticism where poet exhorts of his own condition in the less than wonderful world. So here is the horror of life in war-torn Baghdad, rendered diaristically in a kind of sad amusement; tender, intimate, tragic. Here is Baghdad between the bombs & clandestine bottles of wine, hospitable despite its ruin. And here is Ahmed Hashim, poet in Melbourne, poet in Baghdad, the poet at war defending his vocation with haiku.

[Baghdad in Haiku's Eyes , Ahmed Hashim's 36 page chapbook of haiku-like poems, written in Baghdad between 7/2/06 & 26/4/06, was published in Melbourne, July 2006. A second edition has recently appeared which includes colour photos of everyday life taken by Ahmed on a recent trip home. The poems are translated from the Arabic by Ahmed Hashim & Susan Manton. The following examples express the flavour which attracted me :

check point on every road
looking for bombs and alcohol
alcohol can't explode mosques

looking for terrorists and drunks
the drunk can't fight -
because he's drunk

they say they defend God
God doesn't need defending
that's what he said to the drunk

(Kris Hemensley, August 10th, 2007)

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