A man is travelling in the desert under the scorching heat of sun, suddenly dark clouds gathered, gust of wind start blowing & carried away all the heat. Moreover, the clouds pouring rain washes the man's soul from worries and hardships.
Mahmoud's poetry is that scroching heat of sun alongwith the gust of wind & dark clouds. That can't be blown & poured down always but from time to time it happened.
After a while it happened.
His words make us stand & realize the facts of life with such a mesmerising manner that you got captivated in his poems and there's no escape.
You have to suffer
You have to bear
You have to accept
You must know the truth
In spite of all that
You have to love.
My first book by him & I absolutely adore his collection and love his writing style. I'm really glad that I got a chance to read this brilliant book.
'What does life say to Mahmoud
You lived, fell in love, learned, and all those you will finally love are dead? '
'My longing weeps for everything. My longing shoots back at me, to kill or be killed.'
'We Travel Like All People
We travel like everyone else, but we return to nothing. As if travel were
a path of clouds. We buried our loved ones in the shade of clouds and between roots of trees.
We said to our wives: Give birth for hundreds of years, so that we may end this journey
within an hour of a country, within a meter of the impossible!
We travel in the chariots of the Psalms, sleep in the tents of the prophets, and are born again in the language of Gypsies.
We measure space with a hoopoe’s beak, and sing so that distance may forget us.
We cleanse the moonlight. Your road is long, so dream of seven women to bear
this long journey on your shoulders. Shake the trunks of palm trees for them.
You know the names, and which one will give birth to the Son of Galilee.
Ours is a country of words: Talk. Talk. Let me rest my road against a stone.
Ours is a country of words: Talk. Talk. Let me see an end to this journey. '
'An eagle settles on our bodies, and we chase after dreams. May we find them.
They soar behind us to find us here. There is no escape!
We live our death. This half-death is our triumph. '
'In this hymn we lay a dream, we raise a victory sign, we hold a key to the last door,
to lock ourselves in a dream. But we will survive because life is life. '
'We are captives of what we love, what we desire, and what we are. '
'Let us be kindhearted! Take me to the sea at dusk.
Let me hear what the sea tells you when it returns to itself in peace.
I won’t change. I will embrace a wave and say:
Take me to the sea again.
This is what the fearful do:
when a burning star torments them, they go to the sea.'
'Death, O my shadow who leads me, O my third person,
emerald and olivine’s irresolute color,
blood of a peacock, sniper of the wolf’s heart,
sickness of imagination, have a seat.
Leave your hunting gear at the window and hang your heavy key chain on the door.
Mighty one, don’t gaze into my veins looking for some fatal flaw.
You are stronger than my breathing, stronger than medicine, and the strong honey of bodily love.
You don’t need some sickness in order to kill me.
So be nobler than the insects.
Be yourself—transparent, a clear message from the Unseen.
And like love, be a raging storm among trees.
Do not sit in the doorways like a beggar or a tax collector.
Do not become a traffic cop in the streets.
Be powerful, of well-tempered steel, and take off that fox mask.
Be gallant and knightly, and launch your mortal assaults.
Say whatever you wish to say:
I emerge from meaning to meaning.
Life is fluid, I distill it.
I introduce it to my domination and my measure.'
'I have work to do for the afterlife, as if tomorrow I will not be alive.
I have work to do for the eternal presence of today.
Hence I listen, little by little, to the ants in my heart:
Help me bear the brunt of my endurance.
I even listen to the gasping scream of the stone: Free my body.
In the violin, I see longing migrate from an earthly country to a heavenly one.
I hold my dear one, eternity, in the palm of a woman’s hand.
First, I was created. After a while, I fell in love.
Then I got bored to death.
Later on, in my grave, I opened my eyes
and saw the grasses mirroring me from time to time.
What use is Spring, then, if it does not bring joy to the dead,
and if it does not restore life and the bloom of oblivion after life?
That is one way to solve the riddle of poetry, the riddle of my tender poetry at least.
Dreams are our sole utterance.'
'As if I am. As if I am not.
Every time I listen to the heart the words of the Unseen flood me, and trees grow tall in me.
I fly from dream to dream but I am without end.
A few thousand poetic years ago, I was born in a darkness of white linen,
but I could not distinguish between the dream of myself and my self.'
'In order to fight the beast in you, I asked a woman to give you milk.
I was unjust. But you were given pleasure, and you gave in.
Be kind to me, Enkidu. Go back to the dead.
It’s possible we might find an answer
to the question of who we are when we are alone.
The life of a single man is not complete,
and I am in dire need of an answer to this question.
Whom can I ask about crossing this river?
So rise and lift me up, O brother in salt!
When you sleep, do you know you are sleeping?
Rise up! Enough.
Move before the wise men, like foxes, surround me.
All is vanity. Your life is a treasure, so live it, richly.
It’s a single moment, promising its own sap—the distilled blood of the prairie.
Live your waking, not your dream: Everything dies.
Live your life in a beloved woman.
Life is your body, not some illusion.
Wait for a child to carry in your soul.
For us, procreation is immortality.
And all is vanity and mortal, or mortal and vanity.
'What was mine: my yesterday.
What will be mine: the distant tomorrow,
and the return of the wandering soul as if nothing had happened.'
'I don’t dream of anything now.
I desire only to desire.
I dream only of desiring harmony.'