No Boat May Allow Drowning to Vanish: New Poems
Basim Furat's previous collection of poetry, Here and There, the first Arabic poetry book to be translated into English in New Zealand, was published by HeadworX in 2004.
This new collection (edited by Mark Pirie and with a striking cover by poet/painter Gregory O'Brien) continues Furat's underlying themes of war and exile from his homeland Iraq, with several moving poems on the aftermath of the conflict in Iraq and on Saddam Hussein's oppressive regime.
Yet Furat also branches out and widens his subject matter into other more immediate and universal concerns such as travel writing with evocative explorations of Hiroshima, Japan, as well as his respectful understanding of Buddhism in Laos, where he is currently living.
New Zealand itself becomes the focus for several of Furat's poems as a refugee and former Wellington resident. His evocative poems on Wellington and Mount Taranaki should appeal to many local readers.
This collection extends Furat's talents and sympathies, particularly his ability to bridge vastly different cultures with empathy and compassion for humanity and its struggles.
"Basim Furat is the rare poet who has the ability to be known in more than one language. While he writes in Arabic, he also has his work well translated in English - the language in which the poems in this collection are presented - and the result is always deeply moving and of a high technical accomplishment that should appeal to most readers. Basim's 'A Descendant' (in this collection) possesses the power to rivet a reader's attention in exactly the same way as does Goya, Andrei Voznesensky's incontestably powerful poem of the Second World War - and this is no mean feat! Not only Basim, but also his translators and Mark Pirie his editor, must be congratulated for the consistently fine tone of the poetry and its attractive appearance on the page." - Alistair Paterson, ONZM