This is our land, and the sky is real not a metaphor, and high as our hopes. He says to me: ‘Is June a memory?’ and I say: ‘It is a wound bleeding acutely still, even though its victim says: “I have forgotten the pain.”’ — Mahmoud Darwish, from “The return of June,” A River… Continue reading Mahmoud Darwish
He dreams of white lilies, an olive branch, her breasts in evening blossom. He dreams of a bird, he tells me, of lemon flowers. — Mahmoud Darwish, from “A Soldier Dreams Of White Lilies,” Unfortunately, It Was Paradise, translated and edited by Munir Akash and Carolyn Forché (University of California Press, 2003)
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,… Continue reading Mahmoud Darwish
This heart, my heart, is small and the love, my love, is large. It travels in the wind, descends, loosens a pomegranate then falls in the wandering of two almond eyes, then ascends in the dawn of two dimples and forgets the way back to house and name. This heart, my heart, is small and… Continue reading Mahmoud Darwish
In autumn I delight to see the commonness of colors, no throne holds the humble gold in the leaves of humble trees who are equal in the thirst for love. I delight in the truce between armies, awaiting the contest between two poets, who love the season of autumn, yet differ over the direction of… Continue reading Mahmoud Darwish
A poem in a difficult time is beautiful flowers in a cemetery. — Mahmoud Darwish, from “To A Young Poet,” Poetry (March 2010)
I will choose from my intimate memories what’s fitting: the scent of wrinkled sheets after making love is the scent of grass after rain. — Mahmoud Darwish, from “Dense Fog Over The Bridge,” If I Were Another: Poems. Translated by Fady Joudah. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1 edition, October 27, 2009) Originally published 2009.