Renowned Iraqi poet Nazek al-Malaika, who was famous as the first to write Arabic poetry in free verse rather than classical rhyme, died Wednesday. She was 85.Al-Malaika died of old age at a hospital in Cairo, where she had lived in self-imposed exile since 1990, said Nizar Marjan, the Iraqi consul in the Egyptian capital. [...]
In 1949, in her introduction to her second volume of poetry, Shazaiya wa Ramad (Shrapnel and Ash), she explained the new theory of meter which she had introduced into Arabic poetry and her own practice of free verse. The essay gave rise to a series of attacks on Al-Malaika by proponents of the older poetics; however Al-Malaika, who was not only a poet but was also a theorist, grammarian and musician, defended herself ably. [...]
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