Oct. 3rd, 2013

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It is National Poetry Day in the UK, so Twitter informs me, which is a good moment to link to this post by Sofia Samatar, who wrote  . the beautiful-but-not-very-plotty A Stranger in Olondria. Samatar has done translations of some classical Arabic poetry by women; my favourite is this, by tenth-century Cordoban Aisha bint Ahmed al-Qurtubiyya, who knew how to send someone packing:

I'm a lioness.
I'll never be anyone's safe place.
And if I did choose that, I wouldn't love a dog
when I've been deaf to lions.

There are some lovely (and very funny) poems at the link - do have a look. Aisha herself sounds awesome:  she died in 1010 having never married, but she seemed to have far more fun being an excellent calligrapher, writing copies of the Koran, collecting books and being keen on science. And living in Andalucia, which no doubt was pretty OK, too.

I am having an unusually delicious day: determined to break out of my carrot and ginger soup rut, I made spicy aubergine, apricot and tomato soup for lunch (it still has ginger in it. Baby steps.), and carrot, cumin and bean burgers from A Girl Called Jack for supper. Working from home has its upsides.

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