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Biography: Buland al-Haidari

Buland Al-Haidari (1926–1996) — born to a prominent Kurdish family in northern Iraq — grew up in the streets of Baghdad — reprieved minutes before a death sentence was to be carried out — lived and died in exile… a fascinating story, all the more so because of his importance as a leading modernizer of the Arabic literary tradition. Along with a small group of Iraqi poets, he began writing in free verse and treating personal and everyday life as worthy of a poet’s attention. This is the brilliance of Al-Hairdari’s poetry. He expresses the effect of political violence and the sorrow of living in exile with such intimacy, using the mundane details of life.

His first collection, ''Beating of Clay'' (1946), was regarded by critics as a revolution in both shape and content. His most recent collection, ''Passages to Exile''(1996) was published in London. He had lived in London since 1982 and was literary critic for an Arabic weekly newspaper.

His final collection of poems, Passages to Exile ends,

"O how sweet to be reincarnated as dreams,
Dreams that help us forget,
the resentment awaiting between the bow and arrow."


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