Madinat al-Muslimeen CommunityBeyond City LifeThe Silk RoadIslamic PoetryTopic: Poetry of Djelloul Marbrook
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jannah
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« on: Aug 01, 2009 07:33 AM »


I heard of this poet being extolled on, out of all places, NPR. And they read some of his poems that were quite lovely. Apparently he's a bit of a sensation in poetry circles right now. --J

====================

Djelloul Marbrook started writing poems in Manhattan when he was fourteen. In his thirties, he abandoned poetry after publishing a few poems in small journals, but he never stopped reading and studying poetry. Then at age sixty-seven, appalled by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the poet within awakened. Stuffing sky-blue notebooks in his pockets, Marbrook began walking around Manhattan determined to affirm his beloved home in the wake of the nihilistic attacks. Far from Algiers emerged from hundreds of poems he has composed in the years since.Marbrook's voice speaks to anyone who has ever had doubts about belonging. Born in Algiers to an American artist and a Bedouin father and arriving in America as a gravely ill infant, Marbrook has contemplated this issue throughout his life. Far from Algiers explores 'belonging' in a society that is in denial about its own nativist sentiments. It speaks of the struggle to belong in a culture that pays lip service to assimilation but does not fully accept anyone perceived as 'foreign'. Marbrook examines this issue with unflinching honesty. Anyone rejected by a family member or neighbor or coworker will relate to these well-crafted and moving poems.
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« Reply #1 on: Aug 01, 2009 07:43 AM »

I found these in a review someone wrote on this book:


FAMILIARITY

I know no one,
No one knows me.

There in that limbo
I live precariously.


THE FLUTES OF THE DJINN

Introduction

They say some people, but not all, hear the flutes of djinn —
in English we sometimes call them genies — in Algeria’s
Tuareg country. My mother heard them there.

The Flutes of the Djinn

I don't know, djinn, how much you remember
but I know you measure the Sahara's sands,
wear stars on your fingers
and remember that once on Third Avenue
an old man freed you and asked nothing.
You studied him a long time before you left
to make sure he understood the consequences.
He did. And then he left,
and somewhere a child was born
wearing them on his face.

How do their flutes in the Tuareg night
summon us to the secrets of the djinn,
and how does the sexual electric of stars
wake us to the meanness of our wishes?
I think hearing is easier than seeing them
thanks to our brushes with the vast.
Abhor the misshapenness of words
and make this gnosis your heart:
everything is a facet of the same jewel.
Abhor the misshapenness of words
and make this gnosis your heart:
everything is a facet of the same jewel.


"Acquaintances"


We're pebbles in their shoes,

a cramp, a pull, an ant,

something they deal with

but would rather not,

and yet an itch they'd miss,

an absence somehow feared,

a wanted inconvenience

not rewarding or wise.

All I can say of this frieze

is the truth is in the cracks.


"Waiting for snow"


I think my life is like
the violet impendingness
of waiting for snow.

I see a hail of angels
when it finally comes,
but some see dervishes.

Shoveling snow is better than pretending
to know what's good for nations,
but how do we vote for humble notions?

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« Reply #2 on: Aug 12, 2009 01:30 AM »

This is the show discussing his poetry: http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wamc/news.newsmain/article/657/0/1537173/Vox.Pop/Poetry.Forum.73109
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