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Grieving Shias
Raza Ali Hasan

Sheep Meadow
2006 • 66 pp. 6 1/2 x 9"

$12.95 Paperback, 978-1-931357-31-9

“American English his adopted language, at home in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syracuse, N. Y., Raza Ali Hasan deals with material unavailable to any other poet I know writing in English. Without rank, without comrades, he has fought battles of the mind and spirit. The reader may hear music he does not recognize; perhaps it is of the subcontinent. The architecture is American fusion, Mughal, postcolonial, colonial, sometimes peasant, sometimes Syracuse motel. Ali Hasan does not play cricket; his often painfully beautiful poems do not play fair.” –Stanley Moss

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Reviews / Endorsements

“Raza Ali Hasan takes us behind the lifted veil and through the hole in the sheet that hides the bride. He's a verbal magician and a talent to watch. Read this.” —Gary Karr

"Once at home in Pakistan, now nested in Colorado, Ali Hasan writes in newsreel cuneiform. His poetry tastes of fast foods and ancient feasts, his language is spiced with moral and political ginger. Or you might say his proven experimental poetry written out of necessity allows him to survive in the academy of broken hearts and letters. His poetry and learning come out of texts and battles, lost and won, and march from state to state. Somehow, mysteriously, Ali Hasan’s poetry is informed by love he never speaks of. How can an eagle sing like a nightingale? How can a raptor protect the reader with his wing?"—Stanley Moss

“The Pakistani-American Poet Raza Ali Hasan's terse lyrics, written with elegant slant rhymes, survey an unprecedented landscape of space-time. In compressed verses, they rhyme the U.S.-inspired deaths of leaders like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Salvador Allende with mythic episodes from the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi. In the tradition of Mughal painting, he miniaturizes the violence of the 'violent American century,' contemplating it with the ironic composure of an Auden or Cavafy heir. And he hints at more, as when he walks out of Charlton Heston's Ben Hur to a rainy Pakistani city, 'blurry with wonder struck poplars' ”.—Peter Dale Scott

From the Book:

Alexander the Great at the edge
Doubled up, out of breath, the wedge

dividing him from the world, the tree,
its beastly heads glaring, augurs an immortality

out of reach. Lament? Why should we care?
This conqueror, no Kirk Douglas, no Spartacus, the welfare

state on Hydaspes never on his mind.
He, absolutely, not our kind.

RAZA ALI HASAN received an MFA from Syracuse University where he was a University Fellow. He also has an MA in English from University of Texas at Austin. His poems have appeared in Agni, Shenandoah, Tampa Review, Cimarron Review, Puerto del Sol and Poetry International. He is currently a Visiting Professor at Iowa State University.

Thu, 6 Sep 2018 11:03:36 -0500