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THE LOST VERSE: Fragments of 'Arkadia Nuova' - by Soma AMRITAH

Transcribed from the papers found after his disappearance in Southern Iraq, some consider this Amritah's finest verse cycle. This edition comes with the original cover on the 1st UK Edition, not that of the later American edition.

"If I told you where I have come from, you would not know any more than you do. Ask yourself rather: 'What are the questions to which I have had no answers till now?' Do not ask me about my birth, ask yourself rather: 'When will I die?' Do not worry about my name, ask yourself rather: 'Who am I?'"  Soma Amritah

More about this Book: The present volume of verse is a collection of all the fragments of verse that have been recovered by the translator Khamil Akhbar after Soma Amritah's mysterious and as yet unexplained disappearance in the late Summer of 2000, the same year that saw the publication of his poetic work 'Out of these Eyes' in England. Although a public enquiry has been instigated and the official authorities have not given up their search, there has been no sign of him since he ventured into the southern plains of Iraq (around the region of Uruk where he was raised). Neither family living there, nor friends, nor colleagues, have heard from him at all, and it is only for us to hope that he is alive and well somewhere and will return someday to bring back more verse from the other side, and to complete the work that he has left us with in an inchoate state. 'The Lost Verse' contains all the poetry that was found at Soma Amritah's residence in Bagdhad, the sketch and fragments of a projected new work entitled 'Arkadia Nuova', in some ways a complementary volume to 'Out of these Eyes'. It charts a further spiritual journey taken by the author's alter ego, and, like the previous work it is narrative in nature, though unfortunately for the reader, several parts have not been completed and we can only guess at what would have filled these spaces. The translators have attempted, in close collaboration and with faithfulness to the essence of Amritah's poetry, to present the fragments as well as they can in the way it is believed they would have been presented by their author. They only hope this version of his unfinished work will do justice to the memory of the man, - until his return!

Features of this Edition: Special Annotations clarifying the usage and position of the poetic fragments in the translators' hands, particularly where there were alternate passages or gaps - explanations of choices made in the process of translation which greatly aid readers' appreciation; two Images for illustrative purposes; Editor's Note regarding the present work; the Complete Text of the first English Edition.

Extract 1:
0. The Room of Glass

I find myself in a room of glass
although all that I see
constrains my eyes.

Above me are the skies though
clouds conceal the vault
from my sight.

It seems as if
a wall were above me,
the ceiling is of darkened glass.

windows,
though they reveal
outside, I still feel trapped within.

The view stretches out to infinity,
Left and Right and
North and South,

but beyond these
prism walls I cannot
see the world that lies beyond,

beyond this touch of silk
I cannot feel the earth
my fingers touch.

beyond the sound of the song
of the past, I cannot
hear a thing

I want to escape from this room
right now but I do not
know where to go

I pretend that I see
with the eyes of a god,
though I am as blind as a mole.

Extract 2:

"IF I TOLD YOU WHERE
I HAVE COME FROM,
YOU WOULD NOT KNOW
ANY MORE THAN YOU DO,

ASK YOURSELF RATHER:
WHAT ARE THE QUESTIONS
TO WHICH YOU HAVE HAD
NO ANSWERS TILL NOW?

DO NOT ASK ME
ABOUT MY BIRTH,
ASK YOURSELF RATHER:
“WHEN WILL I DIE?”

DO NOT WORRY
ABOUT MY NAME,
ASK YOURSELF RATHER:
"WHO AM I?" - "

- A truly inspirational and moving volume of verse. Despite being composed from fragments the pieces weave together into a whole, and a beautiful story is told through its tale of discovery

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