Friday, July 15, 2011



Death arrives from the back
even when it comes before us.
Only life confronts.

The eye is a road
and the road is an intersection.

A child plays with life,
an old man leans on it.

The tongue rusts from excess of speech,
and the eye dries from lack of dreams.

Wrinkles —
grooves on the face,
potholes in the heart.

A body — half doorstep,
half incline.

His head is a butterfly
with a single wing.

The sky reads you
after death writes you.

The sky has two breasts;
from them all people suckle
every moment, every place.

The human being is a book
life reads continuously,
and death reads in an instant,
and only once.

What about this city?
In it dawn appears like a walking stick
in a darkness named Time.

Spring came to the garden of the house,
laid down his suitcases
and started giving them to the trees
under a rain falling from his arms.
Why is the poet always mistaken?
Spring gives him its leaves
and he gives them to ink.

Our existence is a slope
and we live to climb it.

I congratulate you, sand.
You are the only one who can pour
water and mirage
into the same bowl.

Selected Poems
(Yale/Margellos, 2010)
translated from the Arabic by Khaled Mattawa

Poet, philosopher and essayist born in Qasabin Syria in 1930.
From seventeen adopted the pseudonym Adonis.
He is considered the epitome of contemporary Arabic poetry.

Roberts Blossom

March 25, 1924-8 July 2011