Bookmark and Share

Open the online Arabic language course

Index / Art and Culture /
(Ali Ahmad Said Asbar)
Arabic: ¢alī ahmadi s-sa¢īdi l-'asbar

ZOOM - Open a large version of this image


ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Songs of Mihyar, the Damascene (1961)
Introduction of Arab Poetry (1971)
The Shock of Modernity (1978)
Manifesto of Modernity (1980)
(1930- ) Syrian poet, now living in Lebanon.
Adonis is considered to be among the most important modern Arab poets, who using traditional poetic styles developed a new manner of expressing modern sentiments.
Adonis was influenced by classical Shi'i poets, but started at an relatively early age (his twenties) to experiment with the prose poem, giving it density, tension, metaphors and rhythm. He also broke with the diction and style of traditional poetry, introducing a new and powerful syntax. He used myths from older religions, in which the resurrecting gods of Tammuz, Adonis and Phoenix were central symbols.
Similar to most other poets using the Arabic language, Adonis employs the technique of 'tarab'. 'Tarab' aims at a sort of ecstasy, reached when the musicality of the verse corresponds with the visions and thoughts expressed in the poem.
His name Adonis was given to him by the leader of the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party, Antun Saada.

1930: Born in Kassabin, near Latakia in Syria, into a Alawite family.
1954: Obtains a degree in philosophy from Damascus University.
1956: After being imprisoned for his subversive political expressions, Adonis escapes to Beirut, Lebanon.
1956- 63: Coedits the literary magazine Shiar.
1967: Following the Six-Day War, which shook the entire Arab world, much interest is given to Adonis and his poems, which depict a hope in the future.
1968- 78: Publishes the magazine Mawaqif.
1975: He leaves for Paris, France, after the civil war of Lebanon breaks out.

By Tore Kjeilen