The Translator of Desires

The Translator of Desires

"It isn't by God my death I fear, but to die and never see her."
—From “Black Silver,” in The Translator of Desires

Leading Andalusi poet, Muhyiuddin Ibn ‘Arabi is as relatable in the modern era as he was when he lived in the early 13th century, which marked a time of great political and social upheaval in the Iberian Peninsula. This collection of love poems chronicles every stage and type of love, from the smitten blushes of young lovers to the yearning for one’s hometown.  It follows in the footsteps of other Andalusi poetry, which emphasized romantic love and destigmatized passion in Medieval literature. The 40 pages of extra notes enhance reader’s understanding of Ibn ‘Arabi’s words by contextualizing the Arabic original within the historical milieu of his time. Some of my favorites include “Hadith of Love,” “In the Ruins of My Body,” and “Tigris Song.” This book is perfect for a quick read and even for reading aloud over ambient lighting to close companions.
—Marina Ali

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The Translator of Desires
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