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The Montgomery Endowment
Office of the Provost
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Dartmouth College
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AdonisMay 2001

Adonis is a Syrian born poet, studied philosophy at Damascus University and at St. Joseph University in Beirut, where he obtained his Doctorat d'Etat in 1973. In 1951, Adonis was arbitrarily imprisoned for political activities and membership of the Syrian National Socialist Party and settled in Lebanon in 1956, later becoming a Lebanese national. The turning point for him came with Aghani Mihyar al-Dimashqi (1961), in which he achieved a balance between poetry's socio-political role and the demands of a symbolic 'language of absence' with poetry. Adonis's most complex work, the 400 page Mufrad bi-sighat al-jam, is a dazzling piece of writing, but one which has remained a closed world to the majority of readers. Recently, Adonis advocated 'writing' as opposed to 'poetry', suggesting that a poetic text should go beyond the traditional concept of genre to become a total poem incorporating a multiplicity of levels, languages, forms and rhythmic structures.

Last Updated: 9/3/09