"Ali Ahmed Said was born in a small village in Syria in 1930. His choice
of pen name — Adonis — is an indicator of the audacity of both his poetry
and his writings on Arab culture and society. In 1961, this self-proclaimed
Arab Nietzsche published Songs of Mihyar the Damascene, a complex two-
hundred-page collection that many consider turning point in modern
Arabic poetry. Its impact on Arabic poetics has been no less substantial than
the impact T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" had on English poetics."
— Kareem James Abu-Zeid