BEIRUT: The immortality of the soul, a concept
espoused by Socrates and propagated by a long line of Greek thinkers, finds
a particularly elegant embodiment in the Amaranth, a mythical flower that is
said never to wither. In his new book "Amaranth," poet Omar Baz Radwan not
only renews the ancient concept of eternal blooming, but also makes a
singular contribution to the literary garden of delights.
Radwan signed copies of "Amaranth" during an
evening event at Art Lounge in Dora last over the weekend. The 100-page
book, published by World Book Publishing, includes paintings by Wissam
"Amaranth" collects the author's feelings in
sets of poems that traverse an array of genres. Filled with portraits and
pictures, the book creates motion and living images in the reader's mind,
coaxing him or her on a rewarding journey.
The book took Radwan almost all his life to
write. He began writing poetry at the age of seven. In conversation he says
that poetry is his life; the fact is evident from the imaginatively and
creatively rendered verse in the pages of "Amaranth."
Radwan's work is inspired by the classics and
Greek mythology, which he manages to reinvent through personal lines. For
example, portraits of rain, winter and a love story are all gathered in a
poem expressing deep inspiration. Other poems are darker, advancing pure
criticism and satire of society and its underlying hypocrisies.
The book dwells on the idea of people fooling
themselves when the truth is simple, and portrayed before their eyes, if
only they were not too scared to acknowledge it.
The poet said he believes in Dante's line, "Now
from the grave wake poetry again."
"Poetry in this century does not exist," said
"It is extinct. I hope it will be out of the
grave soon because we need it."
Radwan said that every reader would experience
his book differently and expressed hope that each would take some meaning
from his verses. The quality of his work would seem to sustain his hope, as
the poems come genuinely from the heart and reveal real sentiments and
"I hope that people other than those who are
into literature would enjoy and appreciate the book as well, because poetry
is diverse and is simply everywhere," Radwan said.