Adnan’s Google Doodle/ Burns’ Artefacts – Poetry News Roundup April 17th

Today on My Poetic Side, we look at the Google Doodle dedicated to Etel Adnan and an online display of Robbie Burns artifacts, including a pair of the poet’s socks!

Etel Adnan, Lebanese-American Poet Celebrated in Google Doodle

On Monday, April 15th, 2024, Google celebrated the life and work of the Lebanese-American poet and essayist Etel Adnan in its latest Doodle. Adnan is considered to be one of the most accomplished Arab-American writers of her generation.

In 1977, she rose to fame with the publication of her novel “Sitt Marie Rose” which was written about the civil war in Lebanon. The poet was born in 1925 in Lebanon, her father was Syrian, and her mother Greek, and she grew up surrounded by a number of languages, religions, cultures and nationalities. Her novel won the France-Pays Arabes Award and is considered to be a classic of war literature. It is now actively taught in many American classrooms.

Adnan travelled to Paris in 1949 to study at the Sorbonne before moving to America, where she continued her study at Harvard and Berkeley.

Between 1958 and 1972 she was based in California, where she taught philosophy and, during this time, she began writing poetry and painting. Her writing was in English, and she often said that painting was the release point for her native Arabic tongue.

She returned to Beirut, and from 1972 to 1976 she worked for two newspapers as the arts editor. In 1979 she returned to California and then she spent time living between Beirut and Paris.

Her most recent honour came in 2020 when “Time”, a collection of poetry, which was translated from its original French was named the winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize.

An exhibition was opened earlier this year in her honour showcasing all of her work from the very beginning of her career up to her final creations which were made shortly before her death at the age of 96 in 2021. Located at the King Abdulaziz Centre, the exhibition is the first solo display of the poet’s work that has ever been put on in Saudi Arabia.

Robert Burns’ Socks

For the first time, thousands of artifacts linked to the poet Robert Burns have been put online. The collection, which includes over 2,500 artifacts, includes fragments of a manuscript for Auld Lang Syne dating back to 1793, letters that have not often been seen, a pair of blue initialed socks that belonged to the poet, and a lock of hair from the woman who inspired “Highland Mary.”

The National Trust for Scotland curated a collection of over 5000 Burns artifacts, only some of which they can currently display to the public. They are hoping that this online portal will make the collection and the poet much more accessible to the public.

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