Adnan al-Savegh

Adnan al Sayegh
Adnan al Sayegh

ADNAN AL-SAYEGH is one of the most original voices from the generation of Iraqi poets known as the Eighties Movement. His poetry, crafted with elegance, and sharp as an arrowhead, carries an intense passion for freedom love and beauty. Adnan uses his words as a weapon to denounce the devastation of war and the horrors of dictatorship. In 1993 his uncompromising criticism of oppression and injustice led to his exile in Jordan and the Lebanon. After being sentenced to death in Iraq in 1996, because of the publication of Uruk’s Anthem, a long poem in which he gives voice to the profound despair of the Iraqi experience, he took refuge in Sweden. Since 2004, he has lived in London.



In The Garden of the Unknown Soldier

The soldier who that morning forgot
                        to shave his hair
and was punished for it by his Sargeant,
the soldier left fallen in the dust of battle,
the beautiful soldier, with his thick beard
                        that got to grow
                          little by little
until- after ten years – it was a forest
                        of tangled bush,
such that nightingales sang in his branches
and children always played on his swings
and lovers came closer in his shade
That soldier
who grew into a park for the whole town,
   what if that day he’d shaven his head….

from The Deleted Part (Exiled Writers Ink)


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