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Adunis in 2011

Ali Ahmad Said Asbar, born 1 January 1930 (Arabic: علي أحمد سعيد إسبر; transliterated: alî ahmadi s-sacîdi l-'asbar or Ali Ahmad Sa'id) (born 1930), also known by the pseudonym Adonis or Adunis (Arabic: أدونيس), is a Syrian poet and essayist who has made his career largely in Lebanon and France. He has written more than twenty books in his native Arabic.


  • New York is a woman
    holding, according to history,
    a rag called liberty with one hand
    and strangling the earth with the other.
    • "The Funeral of New York" (1971), from The Pages of Day and Night, trans. Samuel Hazo and Esther Allen (Northwestern University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-810-16081-1.
  • I wanted to break the linearity of poetic text to mess with it, if you will. The poem is meant to be a network rather than a single rope of thought.
    • Adunis, in: "[1]" at nytimes, October 17, 2010
  • Poetry can only change the notion of relationships between things. Culture cannot change without a change in institutions.
    • Adunis, in: "[2]" at nytimes, October 17, 2010
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