A fascinating anthology of Kurdish poems translated by Arabic scholar and well-known Irish poet, Desmond O’Grady.
As Seamus Heaney says, O’Grady’s earlier Seven Arab Odes (Agenda Editions) and his Raftery versions in A Limerick Rake "broadened the Anglophone horizons and opened windows on a poetic culture that we need to know more about – for artistic and other reasons". The same applies here as the poems move between simple and heartwarming personal love poetry, to cries of hurt and anguish as the lot of the Kurdish people.
"Given the passionate intensity of his own 'singing line' in his translations from the Irish, Desmond O’Grady has, in Kurdish Poems of Love and Liberty, produced a book that is vigorous and substantial."
"This book will chime in the hearts of all Irish and English-speaking readers. The translations themselves are to the usual high standard of O’Grady’s translations; there is the usual care, the accuracy and the choice of work is profoundly visionary."
John F. Deane
"O’Grady’s loyalty is to the Babel of many tongues, those independent nations of language. He is the Irish poet who speaks most fearlessly for a poetry without frontiers. Like Dervla Murphy or Doris Lessing, his home is the world."
Desmond O’Grady was born in Limerick, Ireland in 1935. He has taught and lived in Paris, Rome, America (where he gained his PhD at Harvard), and Egypt. He has had numerous collections of poetry published and is a member of Aosdána. He lives in Kinsale, Co. Cork.