Ruba’iyat for the Time of Apricots
A poem by Basma Kavanagh
|Subject||POETRY / Canadian, Family|
|Size||6 x 9 inches|
|Binding type||Soft Cover with Flaps|
This book length poem comprises three major interwoven threads: Ahli, an auto/biographical thread about my Lebanese heritage; Astura, a grim tale linking climate change and the oppression of women, and Ana, a reflection on identity, language, and writing. To tell a story of my mother, her sisters, and their mother; a story of traditions, gesture, ritual, transformation, and self, is to persist against the erasure of the nuanced and tenacious feminine histories that co-exist with our troubled present and its bland stereotypes.
Like a seed, a family story houses its ancestors, and the diversity—genetic and experiential—that equips us to thrive in a multitude of possible futures. Written in quatrains, called ruba’iyat in Arabic, from the word for “four”, each stanza of this poem is self-contained, yet converses with adjacent stanzas to build a narrative. The repetition of phrases across stanzas, and the studding of the text with Arabic words, combine to create a layered, incantatory quality evoking the complexity of Arabic oral poetry.
Basma Kavanagh is a poet and visual artist who lives and works in Nova Scotia. To make her work, she spends time outdoors, attending to the diverse and complex organisms and forces animating our living world. Her artwork has been exhibited in Canada and the US. She has been an artist in residence at the Banff Centre, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and the Penland School of Craft. She produces artist’s books under the imprint Rabbit Square Books, and is the author of two poetry collections: Distillō (2012), and Niche (2015), which won the 2016 Lansdowne Poetry Prize.
How to order this book
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November 26, 2018
Quartet 2018 Launch in Calgary
Join us for the launch of Quartet 2018 at the new Calgary Library.
Our authors for 2018 are a diverse group whose work variously evokes images of a whirling griot dervish, an Arabic oral ruba'iyat linking climate change and the oppression of women, a military brat at the food of the Rockies, and anthropomorphized creatures that morph into a love song that renders queer lives both vulnerable and endearing.
- Rooster, Dog, Crow by Jim Nason
- Night Flying by Laurie Fuhr
- Nouveau Griot by Tanya Evanson
- Ruba'iyat for the Time of Apricots by Basma Kavanagh
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