Ivan Granger's Reviews > Music of a Distant Drum: Classical Arabic, Persian, Turkish & Hebrew Poems

Music of a Distant Drum by Bernard Lewis
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's review
May 27, 13

bookshelves: jewish, muslim-sufi, poetry

This is a very nice, compact sampler of poetry from the near east. Muslim poets, like Hafiz, Rumi, Attar, and al-Hallaj; and Jewish poets, like Hanagid, ibn Gabirol, and Halevi. The translator, Bernard Lewis, is a western scholar of Near East studies, and his perspectives have come under criticism in recent years for representing an older "Orientalist" world view that can be used to support continued western domination of the region. But this collection of poems is free from that wrangling. Questions of social and academic politics aside, there is an elegance to Lewis's poetry translations in this collection. Recommended.
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