Book of Songs – Shabbir Banoobhai
Written over a month of fasting and inspired by the poetry of Rumi, these poems are all, ultimately, songs of love.
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Written over a month of fasting and inspired by the poetry of Rumi, these poems are all, ultimately, songs of love. When John Cleare generously agreed to contribute his photographs, these songs met their matching images of light and the Book of Songs finally became complete. Shabbir Banoobhai (1949 – ) was born in Durban and lived there until his move to Cape Town in 1995. Of necessity he shared the fate of the larger black community of South Africans, and his poetry reflects that struggle. He has also identified with victims of oppressive regimes elsewhere, including the Balkans, where he travelled with a journalist friend on a mission to Sarajevo in 1992. One of the central poems of his latest volume, Sarajevo, for which he received the 2001 Thomas Pringle Award for poetry, records this experience. Shabbir Banoobhai’s poetry is interwoven with spiritual, political and personal themes.