Monday, May 8, 2023


A Music Sentence

A poet now, instead of me,

writes a poem

on the willow of distant wind.

So why does a rose in the wall

wear new petals?

A boy now, instead of us,

sets a dove flying

high toward the cloud ceiling.

So why does the forest shed all

this snow around a smile?

A bird now, instead of us,

carries a letter

from the land of the gazelle to the blue.

So why does the hunter enter the scene

and fling his arrow?

A man now, instead of us,

washes the moon

and walks over the river's crystal.

So why does color fall on the earth

and we are naked like trees?

A lover now, instead of me,

sweeps his love

into the mire of bottomless springs.

So why does the cypress stand here

like a watchman at the garden gate?

A horseman now, instead of me,

stops his horse

and dozes under the shadow of a holm oak.

So why do the dead flock

to us out of wall and closet?


Mahmoud Darwish

If I Were Another

Farrar Straus Giroux, 2009

translated from the Arabic by Fady Joudah