Posts Tagged ‘ Mahmoud Darwish ’


DSC_2252-1: photo by Bronfer, 29 April 2018

Beyond the Pale


John Berger Reads Mahmoud Darwish

Suzanne Gardinier, from Night Journey, for Mahmoud Darwish

Mahmoud Darwish, from A River Dies of Thirst

I am jealous of my senses. The air is the colour of gardenias, your smell on my shoulders like laughter and triumphal arches. I am jealous of the peaceful daggers lying sheathed before you on the table, waiting for a sign from you to kill me. I am jealous of the vase, which has no need of its yellow roses because you give it the full benefit of your deep red lips, hungry for my hunger. I am jealous of the painting staring greedily at you: look longer at me, so I too have my fill of lakes and cherry orchards. I am envious of the foliage on the rug, straining upwards to see an anklet descending on it from above, and of the anklet when it rests on your knee, making the marble in the room as hot as my fantasies. I am envious of the bookshop that is out of sorts because it doesn’t carry an erotic book in praise of two small ivory hills, bared before it to a frenzy of guitars, then hidden by a wave of sighing silk. I am envious of my fingers catching the dialogue of darkness and light as it overflows from your hands, the movement of a spoon in your teacup, the salts stirred up in a body that yearns for a storm to spark the fire of song: gather me up, all of you, and hold me close so I can envy my memories of you in the future. I envy my tongue, which calls your name with as much care as someone carrying four crystal glasses in one hand. I taste the letters of your name one by one, like lyrical fruits. I do not add water to them, so as to preserve the taste of peaches and the thirst of my senses. I envy my imagination embracing you, silencing you, kissing you, caressing you, holding you tight and letting you go, bringing you near and pushing you away, lifting you up and putting you down, making you submit and submitting to you, and doing all the things I never do.


Mahmoud Darwish, A River Dies of Thirst, Saqi Books, 2009.

Translated from the Arabic by Catherine Cobham.

Of Strangeness That Wakes Us On mother tongues, fatherlands, and Paul Celan. BY ILYA KAMINSKY / Poetry Foundation

402px-Celan_passphoto_1938Paul Celan  1938 passport photo (Wikimedia Commons)

Of Strangeness That Wakes Us

Judith Butler And The Cause Of The Other :: Los Angeles Review of Books


Judith Butler And The Cause Of The Other :: Los Angeles Review of Books

Mahmoud Darwish / from “I Am the Last Arab’s Sigh”

If I could start all over again I’d choose what I have chosen: roses on the fence. ~ Mahmoud Darwish

22 Major American Poets Choose Most Important Contemporary Poet / The Huffington Post

Forrest Gander

Most Important Contemporary Poet

Mahmoud Darwish / Journal of an Ordinary Grief


Mahmoud Darwish photo by Amarjit Chandan


John Berger / A Place Weeping — on Mahmoud Darwish

A few days after our return from what was thought of, until recently, as the future state of Palestine, and which is now the world’s largest prison (Gaza) and the world’s largest waiting room (Cis-Jordan), I had a dream.

I was alone, standing, stripped to the waist, in a sandstone desert. Eventually somebody else’s hand scooped up some dusty soil from the ground and threw it at my chest. It was a considerate rather than an aggressive act. The soil or gravel changed, before it touched me, into torn pieces of cloth, probably cotton, which wrapped themselves around my torso. Then these tattered rags changed again and became words, phrases. Written not by me but by the place.
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