Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wait For Her

With an azure drinking cup studded with lapis, wait for her
In the evening at the spring, among perfumed roses, wait for her
With the patience of a horse trained for mountains, wait for her
With the distinctive, aesthetic taste of a prince, wait for her
With seven pillows stuffed with light clouds, wait for her
With strands of womanly incense wafting, wait for her
With the manly scent of sandalwood on horseback, wait for her
Wait for her and do not rush.

If she arrives late, wait for her.
If she arrives early, wait for her.
Do not frighten the birds in her braided hair.
Wait for her to sit in a garden at the peak of its flowering.
Wait for her so that she may breathe this air, so strange to her heart.
Wait for her to lift her garment from her calf, cloud by cloud.
And wait for her.

Take her to the balcony to watch the moon drowning in milk.
Wait for her and offer her water before wine.
Do not glance at the twin partridges sleeping on her chest.
Wait and gently touch her hand as she sets a cup on marble.
As if you are carrying the dew for her, wait.
Speak to her as a flute would to a frightened violin string,
as if you knew what tomorrow would bring.
Wait, and polish the night for her ring by ring.
Wait for her until Night speaks to you thus:
There is no one alive but the two of you.
So take her gently to the death you so desire,
and wait.

| Mahmoud Darwish - A Lesson From The Karma Sutra |

A poet of global significance. A writer formed in the crucible of migration and asylum, he powerfully evokes his experiences in poetry and prose that transcend time and place, drawing on collective memories of loss and longing, and expressing the mutuality of trauma and desire for peace.

Born in Palestine in 1942, he suffered two violent expulsions and spent more than 26 years in exile in Jordan, Lebanon, Cyprus, Tunisia and France before being able to settle in Ramallah where he now lives. His highly acclaimed publication Leaves of Olive was published in 1964. His poems reveal the struggle to assert a sense of belonging and identity, and his prose masterpiece Memory For Forgetfulness (1982) powerfully evokes the experience of forced exile.

Mahmoud Darwish has published more than 30 collections of poetry and prose, and his work has been translated into 35 languages. He is the founding editor of the highly regarded literary review Al Karmel which fosters intercultural debate on intellectual issues and links Arab writers with the international literary community.

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