Something Evergreen Called Life (Paperback)
"Come behind these walls that cage you something evergreen called life"
After years of writing and organizing against the regime of Omar al-Bashir, Sudanese writer, journalist, and activist Rania Mamoun was finally forced to leave her country with her young daughters, taking refuge in a US city in the early throes of a pandemic. Confined to her new home, Mamoun embarked on a daily practice of writing out of which emerged these poems of loss, despair, and hope. Brought into English by Yasmine Seale with lyric agility and an ethic of care, Something Evergreen Called Life offers readers nightpiercing songs of exile and intimacy.
"Locked out of her country after the Sudanese revolution and locked down in the United States during the early and most devastating phase of the global pandemic, Rania Mamoun speaks to us from the ledge of fear and unceasing uncertainty caused by genocidal and femicidal patriarchy. Yasmine Seale's exquisite, crystalline translations of these poems sing out from the soundless cavern of vertiginous depression born from the loss of country, the loss of countless loved ones, and the loss of one's own body: 'a stray cat circling / her bearings lost/ forgotten/ like a margin in a book' ...] 'I am drowning/ without getting wet.' Documenting the grief of exile at both its tender, melancholic fray and its bladed, revolutionary edge, Raina's astonishing and minimalist lyric voice enters the narrowest crevasse at the steepest, most sheer face of unrelenting loss and finds in that place the luminance of friendship, the warmth and wetness of maternal fertility, and profound evidence of what life can still grow from stone. I have returned to my purpose as a poet more fully, and with a deeper sense of gratitude for poetry as an aid to survival, because of this book."-- Divya Victor, author of Kith and Curb
Poetry. African & African American Studies. Women's Studies.