In Her Feminine Sign review  eBook or Kindle ePUB

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Wa Szymborska and an unadorned lyricism wholly her own Mikhail shifts between her childhood in Baghdad and her present life in Detroit between Ground Zero and a mass grave between a game of chess and a flamingo At the heart of the book is the symbol of the tied circle the Arabic suffix taa marbuta a circle with two dots above it that determines a feminine word or sign This tied circle tr. In Her Feminine Sign by Dunya Mikhail is a collection of poems that focuses on and revolves around the Arabic letter ة called the Taa Marbuta meaning The Tied Circle This letter comes at the end of words and transforms masculine words into feminine ones thus being the feminine sign Dunya Mikhail uses the ة's power of transformation to transform the letter itself into other round shaped objects such as the moon a stone eyes and turn them into art Both the form and substance of these poems interconnectThe cover is a painting by Joan Miró entitled Woman in Front of the Sun 1950 in which appears what seems to be a woman's head among other things but which looks like an evil eye mentioned in one of the poems The table of contents itself is filled with letters similar to the tied circle such as o reminding us of the permanent presence of the feminine sign in all the poems even if they don't tackle a ة related topic Dunya Mikhail deals with different topics gracefully since they stem out of the ة and the dichotomy it represents masculinefeminineThis dichotomy is further elaborated with the themes of exile v home as in the poem Baghdad in Detroit which embodies the rotational movement of the world and life in general The author moved from Baghdad to Detroit two very similar citiesI still have so much to say about these poems but I won't take the magic out for you So I'll let you read them instead and get ready to be fully immersed in the ة world If you read this book then my advice is to pay attention to the first poem In Her Feminine Sign which seems to work as an introductory poem It will help you figure out some other poems I highly recommend you grab a copy for yourself The lyricism of the poems is beautiful the references the themes of these poems are totally worth your time Take your time and enjoy

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In Her Feminine SignAnsforms into the moon a stone that binds friendship birdsong over ruins three kidnapped women and a hymn to Nisaba the goddess of writing A section of Irai haiku unfolds like Sumerian symbols carved onto clay tablets transmuted into the stuff of our ordinary daily life In another poem Mikhail defines the Sumerian word for freedom Ama ar gi as what seeps out from the dead into our dreams?. This is how I approached purchasing this volume of poetryI had a vacation day and ventured into Busboys Poets a small chain of restaurants that also sell select literature and non fiction Usually be minority authors meaning non white folk I browsed the small section of poetry picking up books aiming for one by an author I never heard of and published in 2019 So I landed on this book It is wonderful because I learned so much about the Ira war and diaspora in the US and elsewhere The poems invoke Ira's ancient peoples Sumerians Babylonians and their cunieform writing The subjects tend to be somber but that's expected what I didn't expect was to learn so much Love death war peace homesickness emigration it is all here I highly recommend this very readable collection

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In Her Feminine Sign review  eBook or Kindle ePUB ¸ In Her Feminine Sign follows on the heels of Dunya Mikhail's devastating account of Daesh kidnappings and killings of Yazidi women in Ira The Beekeeper It is the first book she has written in both Arabic and English a process she talks about in her preface saying The poet is at In Her Feminine Sign follows on the heels of Dunya Mikhail's devastating account of Daesh kidnappings and killings of Yazidi women in Ira The Beekeeper It is the first book she has written in both Arabic and English a process she talks about in her preface saying The poet is at home in both texts yet she remains a stranger With a subtle simplicity and disuieting humor reminiscent of Wisla. Dunya Mikhail’s In Her Feminine Sign is a nuanced meditation on restlessly seeking that which cannot be found made all too apparent to those whose homes have been razed to the ground Sifting through the rubble it becomes clear that one’s boundaries identity and security have been forcibly confiscated The illusion of freedom is tinged with the realization that even in this modern world built on affirmations of eual opportunity self determination is very much a privilege and not a birthright For those who live in war torn countries the will of the world determines their course and they become its neglected subjects In her work birds and butterflies stand as common motifs representing this paradox of being unattached yet not liberated This then is how the map grew borders The birds don’t know it yet leavingtheir droppings wherever they want Their songs like exiles might pass byanywhere There are no bordersin paradise neither spoils nor victors Paradise is Ama ar gi no victors at all Ira carries so much of human history from creating the first civilization the first written language and the first law Blending this rich history with disturbing images from the present the loss becomes poignant The stark contrast between an artistic rendering of ancient clay tablets and the shelled out buildings and mass graves that the world uses to define the country today forms the backbone of the collection which is in turns both tender and morose I am sorrymy poem will notblock the shellswhen they fallonto a sleeping town will not stop the buildingsfrom collapsingaround their residents will not pick up the broken leg flowerfrom under the shrapnel will not raise the dead Mikhail delivers an often harrowing glimpse of those in between spaces islanded by forces outside of one’s control For the voiceless the outer world becomes a veil encircling them their true form appearing as a silhouette attempting to commune with the other side—the corporeal world But which is the real ghost—the voiceless or the indifferent This cloister of invisibility is well trodden by the displaced in which the inexpressible is lost in translation We are not deadand those are not our ghostsWe don’t know where they came fromor where they are goingTheir shadows are as changeableas the moon’s phasesand are not our shapes Their jinns floating over the watersare not our wars Their hollows are not our crackson the walls In our sleep they melt into one gesture What do they want to say And why—every night in view of the stars—do they diga hole for someone whose turn has come In Her Feminine Sign is a must read masterwork that defies the twin cruelties of oppression and apathy unraveling the layers of chaos to find the remnants of unwavering hope This collection poses a measured tactful protest against the injustices of the world reminding us that turbulent as it may be humankind has not yet lost its humanity The birds may still find their way home again