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Arc Prose Poem Anthology 2021, A narrative expressive poetry by Karim Abdullah

Updated: May 21

The survivals of Attab

The children of the Khaybat, the survivors of Attab, have their memories so far been spider-webbed by the perfume of the books of the noble bullets and what they have left behind the frontiers; the rubbles of the lost days mock their barren drops of sperms… The graveyard of the feet hurrying on the mined fields of histories, shatters in strife, gaspingly examines the frantic lies. The broad fronts are bright; therein time retires, scheduling the fall of leaves yellowing, they are pillowing the warm coffins . Blissfully and confidently, the helmets pick up the old age of joy, canning souls in the tins of the disaster of the happy homeland. The vows of salvation are resigned, to gather the children of the sun-burned mothers in queues in front of the generous massacres, their blushing necks are decorated with disappointment sickles. Multitudinous politicized explosions engulf them, harvest after harvest, and brightly devour the badges of dignity, wandering in the veins of the mutilated wars. Flirted by the starvation flourishing are their kaki days, which are on the barrels of the artilleries crouching in the eyeball of the villages of demolished springs. Their busy family, as being touched by the neigh of loss, pick up the shreds of their memories, absent-mindedly overflow with the shrouded genesis / suspicious, surrounded by a massacre whose guts are filled with pages of enthralling widows that sum up the eagerness of the refreshed conflagrations. At the extremes of the world, the echo of the blackness heals; intensifying their grief, exiles without freedom, and their blue sky is wiped out by a renewing travel.

A poem by Kareem Abdullah

Translated by John H. Smith

*Attab is a rag burn used to cure diseased people in primitive societies. * Al-Melha is a tribute of the sun burned faces *Khaybat is a colloquial tribute referring to frustrated mothers

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Biography : Kareem Abdullah is an author from Iraq.

A Poetry of Disaster in Nonlinear Form


The survival of attab is a narrative expressive nonlineating prose poem. It is a writing style where the literary piece has been written in a narrative-lyrical system in which the written text has appeared with the narrative superficial structure and deep poetic tone. War poems have a long history and every time when the world suffered carnage its blood has overpowered into words.

Art conveys it gracefully but sometimes it staggers when its endurance level blunts. Cultural critic Theodor Adorno asserted that “ to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric “.

The survival of attab is written from a place which is steeped in history of grace and grandeur. It is a fragmented piece though resounding one against imperial tyranny.

A poetry of disaster should not be categorised as personal or political, better is to tag it as social.

Poet tells “ the rubbles of the lost days mock their barren drops of sperms…”

A nation descended to nadir when looking back to its past, such satirical sentences eject to sooth its aching heart.

Attab , Al mehta and khaybat are arabic words which are used to represent the traditional iraq, a core feature of postmodernism.

Prose poetry celebrates the blurring of established boundaries and registers the kinds of experience that are neither fully coherent nor entirely resolvable.

They resist closure-- as life is, in its circular continuity.


Analysis by Dr Pragya Suman



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