POETRY MONTH: 30/30/30: Inspiration, Community, Tradition: DAY 12 :: Frank Sherlock on Etel Adnan
Etel Adnan was born in 1925 in Beirut, Lebanon. Her father was a Syrian Muslim and her mother was a Greek Christian. She was raised speaking French, English, and her father taught her written Arabic. Adnan studied philosophy at the Sorbonne, Paris, University of California, Berkeley, and Harvard. She has many books of poetry and fiction published, including Paris When It's Naked, Of Cities and Women, and Sitt Marie Rose, which has been translated into over ten languages and is considered a classic of Middle Eastern literature. She also creates oils, ceramics and tapestry. “A life spent writing has taught me to be wary of words. Those that seem clearest are often the most treacherous.” So begins Amin Malouf's In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong. [Ed: free e-book/pdf at link] As words are navigated into the public sphere, to be watchful requires an interrogation of language, conscious of its make up and observant of mutations as it travels across borders and time.