By: Kobi Peled
(Brill, 2022, ISBN: 978-90-0450181-2, 315 pages)
WORDS LIKE DAGGERS: THE POLITICAL POETRY OF THE NEGEV BEDOUIN
The book explores the political poetry recited by the Negev Bedouin from the late Ottoman period to the late twentieth century. By closely reading fifty poems Peled sheds light on the poets’ sentiments and worldviews. To get to the bottom of the issues that inspired their poetry, he weaves an interpretive web informed by the study of language, culture and history. The poems reveal that the poets were perfectly aware of the workings of the power systems that took control of their lives and lifestyle. Their poetry indicates that they did not remain silent but practiced their art in the face of their hardships, observing the collapse of their world with a mixture of despair and inspiration, bitterness and wit.