The introduction by Maithem Alharbi opens the doors and invites readers with the following words:
Fifty years passed since Al-sayyab's departure, which is the same time span when talking about foundation and pioneering... Al-sayyab's moment is that of a solid structure that embraced endless delicacy and tenderness. in more than an incident, scholars presenting Al-sayyab deformed his image in the eyes of their students. there were always those who would scatter his very meaning and philosophy that strives to preserve the torch of values of modernization and freedom lit . Al-sayyab's relation with modernization was parallel; in the frame of his literature ambitions , he crystallized a specific perspective concerning the surrounding world as it was moving inside its own Geography, History and tongue,he realized that the moment has finally developed into the stage of announcing free prose or what is known as modernizing the strict form of classic Arabic poetry. A simple tuning made by Al-sayyab ensured a huge bounce in programming Arabic poetry that kept swaying on the tone of meters for lengthy centuries. this change came hand in hand with the transformation of meditation that shifted from being sensual to a more intellectual form.
Irony covers today's scenery as we try to provide an enlightened and modern document inside an environment of continuous political rage and violence that seems rather remote from civilization in its deep meaning.
How could Al-sayyab's moment be such an eminent and historical one? his work " the undertaker" was taken in a critical account for being the turning point for all that has been written in Arabic poetry, especially when you consider the fact that this time span covers a 14- century period of time.
The book also highlights the fact that the Arabic modernization project is far different from other modernization approaches throughout the world given the fact that the lengthy period of the traditional two parts meter- owned template, stood stubbornly in the face of any modernizing attempts endured by Al-sayyab and those who shared the same road; As they stumble against fierce critics and disapproval. on the other hand French and American literature circles showed more flexibility in dealing with new trends and means of expression.
in page 49, critic Hasan Al-Salman raises a very sensitive issue concerning the personality and mind of Al-Sayyab, which was rather a highly disputed point throughout various papers, the point of his jumping from one party to another and being a harsh defender who turns into an aggressive opponent by time. Many accused him of having a double agent attitude but it really doesn't seem to apply to him when you go through his poetry as a tourist trying to get the best of his luxurious sensitivity and deep blue, Thus Al-Salman pointed out the issue and dealt with it on bases of reality , since Al-Sayyab was the holder of a high critical sense, he disapproved the slyness of the parties he joined as soon as those ways become clear and evident at least for him, by time this resulted in grouping a number of contradictory opinions by this poet who reflected by poetry and journalism on every day life and its links to man's being.
page 208, Lamia Abbas Amara, an eminent Iraqi poet wrote about her colleague and friend, Al-Sayyab starting that she kept tracking his writings to see where he fixed her in the list of abuse! but then she returns to those soft memories and adds that she thinks he was deeply moved by the heroes of the romantic era, great names dying at young ages for mere sacrifice, " I think that the idea was absorbed by his unconsciousness and if he had any chance to live as long as we did, he would have ended in exile like most of us. we thought that our death was too precious to be tolerated by this universe! unlike what we witness today, Iraqi's blood is so cheap... He was haunted by the chill of immortality that led him to write till his last moments, saving no scrap of this holy treasure he endured...pain "
Fadhil Al-Azzawi, a well-known Iraqi poet, on page 213, wrote: being a famous poet at your time does not necessarily drive time's mercy to spare you from being a mere past!..but the role that a myth plays in embracing certain names in the vault of memory may succeed in returning to that name every now and then. early death of a great poet lends us the lens of loss as we look at his life and productive soul. many names were granted an additional dimension of admiration for this early departure. Al-Sayyab's misery covered all stages of his life the dire need urged him to write in various directions, but does this attempt of survival cast a dark shade on his creativity and poetic wit? Al-Sayyab drew an important outline for the future course of modern Arabic poetry. Al-Azzawi goes on, sensing the aspects of our poet's delicateness and high spirited encounter, at the end he concludes, that Al-Sayyab , like other great names achieved an immortal name by a number of epic poems that no poetry lover can pass by them without a saluting heart...
edited and translated from the Arabic original by Amal Ibrahim.