Eyes in Times of War, Paperback / softback Book

Eyes in Times of War Paperback / softback

Part of the Salt Modern Poets series

Paperback / softback

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This collection of poems speaks to an individual's place and emotions during war.

The wars depicted in this volume - the 'history wars', the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, 'the war against terror', 'the clash of civilisations', etc - form the background against which the speaker's language seethes and writhes.

These fractured lyrics - or 'antiheroic couplets' - take place in a volatile space in the aftermath of ancient conquests and prior to future atrocities.

Here the medieval Persian poet Rumi is seen escaping the Mongolian hordes; Satan debates Archangel Michael at the battle of Heaven and Hell; the Jewish thinker Walter Benjamin contemplates the Holocaust; an imprisoned writer becomes a saviour and a revolutionary radical is branded traitor; an account of the author's experiences of the Islamic Revolution of Iran and the war with Saddam Hussein is narrated; and contemporary Australia is seen as a nation engaged in an unremitting conflict against the land's original inhabitants and its Asian neighbours.

History and a desire for peace form the central discourse of this book's poems that deconstruct the desire for war, undermine the beliefs in religious and cultural identity that often provoke wars, and advocate non-participation and a rejection of the glorification of 'us' and the demonisation of the 'other'.

Also included in this volume are love poems and translations from works of Sufi mystics to show that the opposite of war is, if not always allowed, then at the very least imaginable in these times of hostility and conflict.