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Objects of Poetry [Egypt]:
Poet Guirgis Shukri’s Wa Al Aydi Otla Rasmeya (And the Hands are on an Official Holiday) is a collection of poems so thematically connected to each other that they in fact form one poem divided into six chapters. Written in powerful and angry language, this work reflects a sense of estrangement and a lack of identity that is compensated for by savage nihilism, cynical absurdity and a guilty conscience. [...]

Born in Sohag in 1967, Shukri has published four books of poetry, which have been translated into several languages, including English. He is one of the representatives of the so-called “90’s generation.” Like many of his contemporaries, he focuses on meaning rather than form, using simple vocabulary and constructions, merging classical and colloquial Arabic. Unfortunately, the neglect of form for the sake of substance leads some verses to resemble awkward rough drafts, or bland logical formulas devoid of passion or color. By avoiding fusha vocabulary that has come to seem funny, pretentious or heavy-handed, even to poets, Shukri limits his linguistic range. But his blank verse compositions are nonetheless free, honest and intense. In this reviewer’s opinion, Shukri is one of the young rising stars in contemporary poetry.
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