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School of Udhra

Un libro in lingua di Nathaniel MacKey edito da City Lights Books, 1993

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School of Udhra takes its title from the Bedouin poetic tradition associated with the seventh-century Arab poet Djamil, the Udhrite school of poets who, “when loving die.” Bedouin tradition, however, is only one of the strands of world revery these poems have recourse to. They obey a “bedouin” impulse of their own—fugitive, moving on, nomadic. Ogo the fox, the Dogon avatar of singleness and unrest, runs throughout, crossing and recrossing divided ground, primal isolate, insistent within the book's cross-cultural weave.

The poems track variances of union and disunion- social, sexual, mystic, mythic- both formally and in their content. They return rhapsody to its root sense: stitching together. Threads ranging through ancient Egypt, shamanic Siberia, Rastafarian Jamaica, and elsewhere figure in, inflected by conjunctive and disjunctive cadences inspired by jazz, Gnaoua trance-chant, cante jondo, and other musics.

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