I walk lightly so as not to crush my cheerfulness. I walk heavily so as not
to fly. In both cases the ground protects me from disappearing into adjectives
that cannot be used to describe it.
Deep inside me there is a hidden music, and I am afraid of it being
In order to rectify the mistakes I have made I am compelled to do extra
work on the draft plan for belief in the future. Those who have made no
mistakes in the past do not need this belief.
Mountains, sea and air. I fly and swim, as if I am an air-sea bird. As if I
am a poet!
All prose here is primitive poetry lacking a skilled craftsman, and all
poetry here is prose accessible to passers-by.
With all the happiness granted to me, I hide my tears from the strings
of the oud that lies in wait for my death rattle, and creeps up on young
The private is public. And the public is private . .. until further notice, a
long way from the present and from the meaning of the poem.
— Mahmoud Darwish, from “From now on you are you,” A River Dies of Thirst. (Archipelago Books, 2009)