Poetry of the Taliban

ISBN 13: 9781849043052

Poetry of the Taliban

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9781849043052: Poetry of the Taliban
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The Taliban are synonymous with the war in Afghanistan. Doughty, uncompromising fighters, they plant IEDs, deploy suicide bombers and wage guerrilla warfare. While much has been written about their military tactics, media strategy and harsh treatment of women, the cultural and sometimes less overtly political representation of their identity, the Taliban's other face, is often overlooked. Most Taliban fighters are Pashtuns, a people who cherish their vibrant poetic tradition, closely associated with that of song. The poems in this collection are meant to be recited and sung; and this is the manner in which they are enjoyed by the wider Pashtun public today. From audiotapes traded in secret in the bazaars of Kandahar, to mp3s exchanged via bluetooth in Kabul, to video files downloaded in Dubai and London, Taliban poetry has an appeal that transcends the insurgency. For the Taliban today, these poems, or ghazals, have a resonance back to the 1980s war against the Soviets, when similar rhetorical styles, poetic formulae and tricks with metre inspired mujahideen combatants and non-combatants alike. The poetry presented here includes 'classics' of the genre from the 1980s and 1990s as well as a selection from the odes and ghazals of today's conflict . Veering from nationalist paeans to dirges replete with religious symbolism, the poems are organised under four headings - - War, Pastoral, Religious and Love - - and cover many themes and styles. The political is intertwined with the aesthetic, the celebratory cry is never far from the funeral dirge and praise of martyrs lost. Two prefatory essays introduce the cultural and historical context of the poetry. The editors discuss its importance to the Pashtuns and highlight how poetic themes correspond to the past thirty years of war in Afghanistan. Faisal Devji comments on what the poetry reveals of the Taliban's emotional and ethical hinterland.

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About the Author:

Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn are researchers and writers permanently based in Kandahar. They have worked in Afghanistan since 2006, focusing on the Taliban insurgency and the history of southern Afghanistan over the past four decades. Their research extends to other Muslim countries and they are regular commentators on major western news channels. Faisal Devji is Reader in the History of South Asia at St Antony's College, Oxford University.

Review:

'A book that shouldn't be missed!' - Washington Post 'Much of the poetry here appeals to the heart rather than the head, engendering sympathy for the speakers' plight. That these poems put us in this uncomfortable place is the most impressive achievement of the anthology.' * The Guardian * 'The verse assembled in Poetry of the Taliban is by turns bombastic and introspective, dark and mirthful, ugly and lyrical - and perhaps above all, surprising in its unabashedly emotional tone.' * Los Angeles Times *

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781849041119: Poetry of the Taliban

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ISBN 10:  1849041113 ISBN 13:  9781849041119
Publisher: Hurst, 2012
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9780231704045: Poetry of the Taliban (Columbia/Hurst)

Columb..., 2012
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Book Description C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The Taliban are synonymous with the war in Afghanistan. Doughty, uncompromising fighters, they plant IEDs, deploy suicide bombers and wage guerrilla warfare. While much has been written about their military tactics, media strategy and harsh treatment of women, the cultural and sometimes less overtly political representation of their identity, the Taliban's other face, is often overlooked. Most Taliban fighters are Pashtuns, a people who cherish their vibrant poetic tradition, closely associated with that of song. The poems in this collection are meant to be recited and sung; and this is the manner in which they are enjoyed by the wider Pashtun public today. From audiotapes traded in secret in the bazaars of Kandahar, to mp3s exchanged via bluetooth in Kabul, to video files downloaded in Dubai and London, Taliban poetry has an appeal that transcends the insurgency. For the Taliban today, these poems, or ghazals, have a resonance back to the 1980s war against the Soviets, when similar rhetorical styles, poetic formulae and tricks with metre inspired mujahideen combatants and non-combatants alike. The poetry presented here includes 'classics' of the genre from the 1980s and 1990s as well as a selection from the odes and ghazals of today's conflict . Veering from nationalist paeans to dirges replete with religious symbolism, the poems are organised under four headings - - War, Pastoral, Religious and Love - - and cover many themes and styles. The political is intertwined with the aesthetic, the celebratory cry is never far from the funeral dirge and praise of martyrs lost. Two prefatory essays introduce the cultural and historical context of the poetry. The editors discuss its importance to the Pashtuns and highlight how poetic themes correspond to the past thirty years of war in Afghanistan. Faisal Devji comments on what the poetry reveals of the Taliban's emotional and ethical hinterland. Seller Inventory # AA79781849043052

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Book Description C Hurst Co Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Taliban are synonymous with the war in Afghanistan. Doughty, uncompromising fighters, they plant IEDs, deploy suicide bombers and wage guerrilla warfare. While much has been written about their military tactics, media strategy and harsh treatment of women, the cultural and sometimes less overtly political representation of their identity, the Taliban s other face, is often overlooked. Most Taliban fighters are Pashtuns, a people who cherish their vibrant poetic tradition, closely associated with that of song. The poems in this collection are meant to be recited and sung; and this is the manner in which they are enjoyed by the wider Pashtun public today. From audiotapes traded in secret in the bazaars of Kandahar, to mp3s exchanged via bluetooth in Kabul, to video files downloaded in Dubai and London, Taliban poetry has an appeal that transcends the insurgency. For the Taliban today, these poems, or ghazals, have a resonance back to the 1980s war against the Soviets, when similar rhetorical styles, poetic formulae and tricks with metre inspired mujahideen combatants and non-combatants alike. The poetry presented here includes classics of the genre from the 1980s and 1990s as well as a selection from the odes and ghazals of today s conflict . Veering from nationalist paeans to dirges replete with religious symbolism, the poems are organised under four headings - - War, Pastoral, Religious and Love - - and cover many themes and styles. The political is intertwined with the aesthetic, the celebratory cry is never far from the funeral dirge and praise of martyrs lost. Two prefatory essays introduce the cultural and historical context of the poetry. The editors discuss its importance to the Pashtuns and highlight how poetic themes correspond to the past thirty years of war in Afghanistan. Faisal Devji comments on what the poetry reveals of the Taliban s emotional and ethical hinterland. Seller Inventory # AA79781849043052

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Book Description C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd. Condition: New. 2013. Paperback. First collection in English of poetry inspired by and inspiring the Taliban Editor(s): Van Linschoten, Alex; Kuehn, Felix. Num Pages: 256 pages. BIC Classification: 1FCA; DCQ; HBWS4; JFC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 140 x 215 x 15. Weight in Grams: 338. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9781849043052

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Book Description C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd, 2013. Condition: New. 2013. Paperback. First collection in English of poetry inspired by and inspiring the Taliban Editor(s): Van Linschoten, Alex; Kuehn, Felix. Num Pages: 256 pages. BIC Classification: 1FCA; DCQ; HBWS4; JFC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 140 x 215 x 15. Weight in Grams: 338. . . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9781849043052

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