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Incomprehensible Lesson

in versions by Anthony Howell

Fawzi Karim and Anthony Howell

Cover of Incomprehensible Lesson by Fawzi Karim
10% off all versions
Categories: 21st Century, Arabic, BAME, Language, Memoirs, Translation
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (96 pages)
(Pub. Jan 2019)
9781784104283
£9.99 £8.99
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Jan 2019)
9781784104290
£7.99 £7.19
eBook (Kindle)
(Pub. Jan 2019)
9781784104306
£7.99 £7.19
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  • Description
  • Authors
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • Fawzi Karim’s poetry has been widely translated, among other languages into French, Swedish, Italian and English. Carcanet published Plague Lands and Other Poems (2011), which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.

    This new selection, translated by Anthony Howell working from the author’s own versions, explores the experience of becoming at home in London, passing from a sense of exile to a sense of uneasy belonging. In his introduction the poet is tactful, candid, touching on some of the most urgent themes of our time including exile and the possibilities of home.

    Between the poet, a major literary presence in his language, and his translator, a poet of many talents and skills, a kind of dialogue exists. The accommodations between two traditions formally uneasy in one another's company is compelling to read. The poet’s and the translator’s contrasting memories meet and confer at the level of language and image.
    Fawzi Karim
    Fawzi Karim (1945 - 2019) was a well-known Iraqi poet, writer and painter. Born in Baghdad in 1945, he was educated at Baghdad University before embarking on a career as a freelance writer. He lived in Lebanon from 1969-1972 and has lived in London since 1978.The Ivory Tower, his column on ... read more
    Anthony Howell
    Anthony Howell was born in 1945. A former dancer with the Royal Ballet and subsequently a performance artist – he founded the Theatre of Mistakes 1974 – he has always been as active in literature as he has in movement. He has published several collections of poems and two novels. During ... read more
    Awards won by Fawzi Karim Commended, 2011 A Poetry Book Society Recommendation (Plague Lands and other poems)
    'What happens to memory after years of exile, untethered from the familiar geographies of home? For the Iraqi poet Fawzi Karim, memory must be "restored" by being "fused with the imagination", before it can "transcend history and enter myth, enter the domain of poetry"... Karim's gravest concerns - unstoppable movement, permanent exile, and the elusiveness of true rest - come full circle.'


    Theophilus Kwek, Modern Poetry in Translation


    'Fragments of the present with tangential references to the old stories... These are poems of the self, a turn toward not just the past but the deep past, the past of myth'
    Jessica Sequeira, Berfrois
    Praise for Fawzi Karim 'This is clearly a major poet.'
    John Welch, Tears in the Fence
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