Paperback Price: $14.95
Paperback ISBN: 978-1882295531

Selected Poem


“The Sailor cannot see the North—but knows the Needle can—“

The books were all torn apart, sliced along the spines
Light filled all the openings that she in her silence renounced

Still: her handwriting on the papers remembered us to her
The careful matching of the papers’ edges was a road back

One night Muhummad was borne aloft by a winged horse
Taken from the Near Mosque to the Far Mosque

Each book likens itself to lichen,
stitching softly to tree trunks, to rocks

what was given into the Prophet’s ears that night:
A changing of directions—now all the scattered tribes must pray:

Wonder well foundry, well sunborn, sundered and sound here
Well you be found here, foundered and found

The Far Mosque

“Painterly minimalism, open-field technique and Near Eastern traditions together give Ali a neatly varied verbal palette for his smart, quietly attractive poems….his unresting intellect and acoustic talents make him a poet to watch.”
Publishers Weekly

“Ali, author of the novel Quinn’s Passage, reveals a rich and daring poetic voice in his first book of poetry. If one of the poet’s tasks is to revive the mythological powers in things, Ali does so skillfully here.”
Library Journal

“The young T.S. Eliot’s personae in “Gerontion” and other pre-Waste Land poems resonate in Ali’s work, but unlike the studies impersonality and austerity of Eliot, Ali has a vibrant and generous personality that lets one hear the inner music that makes us remember what it is to be human.”
Painted Bride Quarterly

The Far Mosque by Kazim Ali is a book in which the author has managed to render into the English language the universal inner voice. These poems talk to the reader from the realm in which we are all human. What a poet to be able to define spirit using the American vocabulary! These poems, so very different from my own, speak clearly to me. What a gift!”
—Lucille Clifton

“Kazim Ali’s poems feel both ancient and entirely new, marrying the old Persian tradition of discontinuity to the rapid shifts of postmodern disjunction. This is a first collection of genuine originality and strange distinction, each poem a fragment of the deep notation of one ‘not listening to the music, but to the door.’”
—Mark Doty

“There is a metaphysical feel to this poetry that renders it fit for our globalized age, a geography underwritten by the loss of fixed abode, so that the journey, shifting in all its elements becomes all there is to hold onto. Any resting place reached must be renounced and a future shorn of permanence comes into being, a cliff climb, a strenuous hovering that permits sense to appear.”
—Meena Alexander in American Poet

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