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Chronicles of Majnun Layla and Selected Poems brings together in one volume Haddad’s seminal work and a considerable selection of poems from his oeuvre, stretching over forty years. The central poem, Chronicles of Majnun Layla, recasts the seventh-century myth into a contemporary, postmodern narrative that revels in the foibles of oral transmission, weaving a small side cast of characters into the fabric of the poem. Haddad portrays Layla as a daring woman aware of her own needs and desires and not afraid to articulate them. The author succeeds in reviving this classical work of Arabian love while liberating it from its puritanical dimension and tribal overtones.
The selected poems reveal Haddad’s playful yet profound meditations. A powerful lyric poet, Haddad juxtaposes classical and modern symbols, and mixes the old with the new, the sensual with the sacred, and the common with the extraordinary. Ghazoul and Verlenden’s masterful translation remains faithful to the cultural and historical context in which the original poetry was produced while also reflecting the uniqueness of the poet’s style and his poetics.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Note on Translation
  2. pp. xiii-xviii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-14
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  1. Chronicles of Majnun Layla
  1. Of Qays
  2. pp. 17-18
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  1. He Is No One
  2. p. 19
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  1. Of Layla
  2. pp. 20-21
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  1. First Lightning
  2. pp. 22-23
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  1. Not of Any Place
  2. p. 24
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  1. Things
  2. pp. 25-26
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  1. The Crystalline Sweetness of Flesh
  2. p. 27
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  1. Now You Have Heard, Now You Have Seen
  2. p. 28
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  1. The Citadel’s Garden
  2. p. 29
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  1. You Covered Me, Now Expose Me
  2. p. 30
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  1. Love
  2. pp. 31-32
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  1. The Wolf
  2. p. 33
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  1. The Wedding Night
  2. pp. 34-35
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  1. Crown of Sacrifices
  2. p. 36
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  1. The Night Described
  2. p. 37
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  1. Acts of Raving
  2. p. 38
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  1. Divine Guidance
  2. pp. 39-40
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  1. The Sun
  2. p. 41
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  1. Water Mirror
  2. p. 42
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  1. God Will Forgive
  2. p. 43
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  1. All the Weeping
  2. p. 44
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  1. On Hajj
  2. pp. 45-46
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  1. Something Other than the Mount
  2. pp. 47-48
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  1. Speaking Your Heart
  2. pp. 49-50
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  1. The Text and the Account
  2. pp. 51-52
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  1. Heart Madness
  2. p. 53
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  1. Madness as Mask
  2. p. 54
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  1. The Royal Road
  2. pp. 55-56
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  1. A Two-Way Lantern
  2. p. 57
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  1. Enticement
  2. p. 58
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  1. Towards It at Every Turn
  2. pp. 59-60
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  1. Love: So Many Doors
  2. p. 61
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  1. Herself Eroticized
  2. pp. 62-63
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  1. Kalam ibn Wahsh
  2. p. 64
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  1. Laughter
  2. pp. 65-68
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  1. The Argument
  2. p. 69
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  1. The Discerning Lantern
  2. pp. 70-71
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  1. Never or He Dies
  2. pp. 72-73
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  1. It Is Love
  2. pp. 74-76
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  1. Selected Poems
  1. In the Sun’s Eye
  2. p. 79
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  1. Tell Us, O Scheherazade
  2. pp. 80-82
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  1. Alphabet of the Arab Twentieth Century: Alif
  2. p. 83
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  1. You Are the Music, I Am the Dance
  2. p. 84
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  1. All of Them
  2. p. 85
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  1. I Don’t Bow Down
  2. p. 86
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  1. With More Freedom
  2. p. 87
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  1. Adventure
  2. p. 88
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  1. The Intimate Inferno
  2. p. 89
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  1. Illumination
  2. p. 90
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  1. Earth’s Mantle
  2. p. 91
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  1. History
  2. p. 92
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  1. Love Feast
  2. p. 93
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  1. The Dream Chapter
  2. p. 94
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  1. Genesis
  2. p. 95
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  1. A Dynasty
  2. p. 96
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  1. The Charmed
  2. p. 97
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  1. Memory of All That
  2. p. 98
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  1. The Stars’ Messenger
  2. p. 99
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  1. The Captain
  2. p. 100
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  1. The Waters of Meaning
  2. p. 101
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  1. Untitled
  2. p. 102
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  1. The Citadel
  2. p. 103
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  1. Catalog of Suff ering (Selections)
  2. pp. 104-118
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  1. He Was Told: O Muhammad
  2. pp. 119-121
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  1. Love
  2. p. 122
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  1. The Hermit’s Spindle
  2. pp. 123-124
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  1. Appendix
  2. pp. 125-138
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