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Rooms Are Never Finished: Poems
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Rooms Are Never Finished: Poems

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  115 ratings  ·  6 reviews
In this stunningly inventive collection—a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award in poetry—Ali excavates the devastation wrought upon his childhood home, Kashmir, and reveals a more personal devastation: his mother's death and the journey with her body back to Kashmir.
Paperback, 112 pages
Published March 17th 2003 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published November 1st 2001)
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Agha Shahid Ali was a Kashmiri-American poet who I don't think is very well known in the US. Years ago, I happened to hear one of his poems on the radio while I was driving and was completely blown away. Finally, I found a used copy of his poems. The "theme" of this book is his mother's death due to an illness, and him taking her body back to Kashmir per her wishes. As with any compilation, I was moved by the some poems, and not so much by the others. I especially liked his ghazals (a type of po ...more
This was fabulous. I loved the way Agha's writing flows; every poem is a little masterpiece. "A Secular Comedy" was especially wonderful, as was "Summers of Translation," the third section of "From Amherst to Kashmir".
Every poem was brilliantly crafted; this is a bit from the title poem: "But for small invisible hands, no wall/ would be lacquered a rain forest's colors. Before,/ these walls had just mirrors (I tried on--for size--/kismet's barest air)". The poems were elegant, meaningful, packed
Nik Kane
In the mystical poetic tradition of the masters of Sufi verse.
Daniel Lee
Absolutely stunning. The first poem in the volume, "Lenox Hill" made me weep at Barnes & Noble the first time I read it. Some of Shahid's best ghazals also included.
About being somewhere, but not really being there. Almost all the poems are about mourning, so they're better read on a rainy day or late in the day.
Gary McDowell
Not a big fan of the ghazal.
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Agha Shahid Ali (आगा शाहीद अली) was an American poet of Kashmiri ancestry and upbringing.

His poetry collections include A Walk Through the Yellow Pages, The Half-Inch Himalayas, A Nostalgist's Map of America, The Country Without a Post Office, Rooms Are Never Finished (finalist for the National Book Award, 2001). His last book was Call Me Ishmael Tonight, a collection of English ghazals. His poems
More about Agha Shahid Ali...
The Country Without a Post Office Call Me Ishmael Tonight: A Book of Ghazals The Veiled Suite: The Collected Poems The Half-Inch Himalayas A Nostalgist's Map of America: Poems

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