Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

Taha Muhammad ‘Ali reading ‘Revenge’

I’ve lately been reading Adina Hoffman’s incredible biography of the Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad ‘Ali, entitled My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness. Here’s footage of the late, great poet reading one of his poems, alongside Peter Cole reading the English translation. I was particularly fascinated by the way that Taha Muhammad ‘Ali continues to interact with the translated version, following it with similar hand gestures to those he makes during his own recitation; it’s a thought-provoking comment on the relationship between poet and translated work:

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