So strange,
in my dream of us,
you were also a dream.

– Dunya Mikhail. excerpt from Tablets IV



I’ll give you my well-filled life
and you give me a view of the planets
No one exactly dies
Rather souls change their looks and address
Death my shadow who will lead me
you the third in two
you hesitant colour of sapphires and topaz
you blood of the peacock
you poacher of a fox’s heart
you, our delirium!

– Mahmoud Darwish. excerpt from Mural

translated by John Berger and Rema Hammami

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To describe almond blossoms, the glossary of flowers
doesn’t come to my aid, and neither does the dictionary…
speech will snatch me to the scam of eloquence.
And eloquence wounds meaning then eulogizes the wound,
like a man who dictates to a woman her feelings.
How can almond blossoms radiate in my language
when I’m an echo?
And they are diaphanous like laughing water that sprouts
from the branches out of the sentry dew…

– Mahmoud Darwish. excerpt from To Describe Almond Blossoms

translated by Fady Joudah