Words Like Daggers: The Political Poetry of the Negev Bedouin


Author: Kobi Peled
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.

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Kobi Peled, an architect and a historian, is a senior lecturer at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His work deals primarily with the cultural history of the Palestinians, and in particular the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel.
All interested in Bedouin poetry, culture and history. Scholars of the Middle East and North Africa; cultural studies; nomadic societies; and Arab literature. Additionally, poetry aficionados particularly in Arab countries.