Ameen Rihani Organization
"For most of the world, there's no greater symbol of America than the Statue of Liberty. It has been an inspiration to generations of immigrants. One of these immigrants was a poet-writer named Ameen Rihani. Gazing at her lamp held high, he wondered whether her sister might be erected in the lands of his Arab forefathers. Here is how he put it: "When will you turn your face toward the East, oh Liberty?""
President George W. Bush, 2008
.: News & Events

Waves of My Life and Other Poems, A Newly Published Book by Rihani


As part of the Rihani English manuscript publication project, a new book entitled Waves of My Life and Other Poems was recently published by Platform International in Washington, DC. This poetry collection is comprised of 186 pages and includes 88 poems. The book content is grouped in four sections, namely Sonnets (6 poems), The Poetic Journey (63 poems), Arabic Songs and Poems (17 poems), and Drama Verse (2 texts). These poems were written between 1905 and 1940, and the length of each ranges from 4 lines to 189 lines. The book includes four pictures of the original manuscript, two pages in the poet's own handwriting, one page typed on his typewriter, and one page of an enlarged copy of Rihani's signature in English.

Among the many comments made regarding Rihani's poetry, is Michael Monahan's note in the Papyrus Magazine of New York in which he characterised Rihani as "poet of the sunrise". Edwin Markham, the American poet, said, "Rihani has ardent poetic temperament and unworldly ideals. He thinks nobly of life and writes with grace". Francis O. Wilcox from the University of Louisville, Kentucky, observed that "Ameen Rihani's beautiful English won the admiration of those who read him and heard him". The New York Times stated that "in these Rihani poems, it is our excellent fortune to share the vision of the Orient and to enjoy the pleasure of music".

It is worth noting that Ameen Rihani has another two collections of poetry in English, namely Myrtle and Myrrh (1905) and A Chant of Mystics and Other Poems (1921). His Arabic collection of poetry is translated into English under the title of Hymns of the Valleys (Hutaafu-l 'Awdiyah, 1955 [posthumous]) which is considered to be the pioneering free verse poetry in modern Arabic literature.