Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Palestinian Culture · Palestinian Literature · Passage · Poetry

Mahmoud Darwish

Longing is the absent chatting with the absent. The distant turning toward the distant. Longing is the spring’s thirst for the jar-carrying women, and vice versa. Longing allows distance to recede, as if looking forward, although it may be called hope, were an adventure and a poetic notion. The present tense is hesitant and perplexed, the past tense hangs from a cypress tree standing on its rooted leg behind a hill, enveloped in its dark green, listening intently to one sound only: the sound of the wind. Longing is the sound of the wind. — Mahmoud Darwish, In the Presence of Absence. Translated by Sinan Antoon. (Archipelago; Translation edition, November 4, 2011)

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