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The list of the best books read this year, the first chapter dedicated to poetry
My best books
As every year, with December comes the time to sum up the readings made during the year, in order to give you readers some useful tools and advice for purchasing; like every year, however, it is necessary to make some premises in order to better understand these lists. First of all we must specify that these lists (poetry, surprises and “The magnificent 7”) mainly follow my personal taste, but this does not mean that a book here is necessarily “more beautiful than one that is not there,” but it is something extremely subjective and personal. The second very important thing to say is that among these titles I am not able to prefer, the order is due exclusively to the moment in which the given book was read.
If you are curious to discover the many honorable mentions and / or other texts that, however beautiful, did not manage to end up in this list, I invite you to watch the video or listen to the podcast that will be released on November 29 at 07.30. Under each “awarded” text you will find, as always, a (often brief) motivation at the basis of my judgment which is however based above all on my taste. Happy reading and good stimuli, if you have a book that has particularly enchanted you this year, do not hesitate to recommend it, if I can I will bring your suggestion to the next live.
“Eighty ghazals” by Hafez (Persia)
Hafez is the most famous and most loved Persian poet. In Iran he is still very popular today: it is said that two books cannot be missing in every home: his he Canzoniere and the Quran. From the verses of him, which everyone knows how to recite by heart, even prophecies are obtained to predict the future. Imported to Europe with full honors by Goethe, who was inspired by Hafez for his western-eastern Divan, it has been translated into many modern languages. His poetic work by him consists of about five hundred songs. In this volume an accurate selection is offered that shows the fascinating intertwining of carnal love and Sufi mystical in an antithetical context of figures of hypocrisy (the preacher, the censor, etc.) and figures of sincerity (the drinker, the libertine, the beggar) that configure a “counterculture” innervated in love and inebriation. Or in the intoxication of love.
Suffice it to say that it is the only one of the three not to be present on the site and this lack is due precisely to the extraordinary beauty of the work. These poems are in fact wonderful and deeper than ever, making us enter in full and total harmony with the spirit of the author and of his time. In the future, however, I plan to bring it also to the Medio Oriente e Dintorni, but it is something that must be done well and with the heart precisely by virtue of the weight and value that Hafez has in Persian culture.
State of Siege (Hàlat Hisàr) is a ‘text’, as the author himself defined it, drawn up in Ramallah in January 2002, in the weeks when the city was besieged by the Israeli troops of General Ariel Sharon.
Mahmud Darwish, who lived in Ramallah, therefore found himself in the hala, that is, in the ‘condition’ of being besieged. With this ‘text’ the Palestinian poet does not just want to describe the state of siege, he wants instead and above all to give substance to the words to express the hala when we find ourselves under siege. The ‘state of the siege’ in Darwish’s verses goes beyond the condition of life in which the concrete multitudes of which the poet is the spokesman are found, expressing their feelings and thoughts. The result is that the ‘text’ is made up of fragments that sometimes resonate like ancient aphorisms, often laments of loneliness, all with the thought of death at the bottom which also runs through the entire work of Darwish.
They are the object of reflection: the poetry in its making, the history, the ‘place’, that is the space of thought, the strength that is imprinted in the affirmation of one’s identity.
The speech in this case is very simple: I consider Mahmoud Darwish one of the greatest poets who ever existed and this is probably his finest collection of poems translated into Italian. Having the text vocalized on the front makes it even more beautiful and interesting for those who want to learn to read Arabic.
In Muslim countries this text is also called “the Quran in verse”: fairy tales, short stories and parables alternate with wisdom writings and wise advice, reaching a high degree of mystical teaching. In fact, they possess those characteristics that distinguish the Sufis: respect for all religions and ideologies, for the human being and nature, love for study and correct education of the self.
One of the 10 most beautiful, influential and important books in all of history, a masterpiece that should be present in every library beyond belief, conviction and love for a given culture. The text of Rumi is “The Text”, second to none in the Sufi world and a wonderful guide for the hearts of humanity, something that should be read for a lifetime; it is no coincidence that I dedicated only half of the first book (the work is made up of 6 different books) a live of about 3 hours that you can find on the YouTube channel.
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