"I like the thirst of the volcano longing to erupt in you, / the deep night's fierce desire for a meeting with the day."
—From “An Invitation to Life,” in Revolt Against the Sun
, considering how the Arab literary world holds her in high esteem for pioneering the
, or free verse, poetic form in the mid-20th century. Al-Mala’ika’s poetry is not equivalent to English free verse poems, as Arabic free verse informalizes rules for meters and hemistiches and the English eschews prosody entirely. Drumsta, a scholar of Arabic literature and culture, divides the book into six sections, each containing selected poems from one of al-Mala’ika’s books. While the anthology contains no complete poetry books, distinct themes still permeate each section. Overall, the selection from al-Mala’ika’s 1968 book,
, is a personal favorite; “Greetings to the Iraqi Republic” and “A Song for the Moon” are standouts in the anthology.