Mahmoud Darwish

13 March 1941 – 9 August 2008 / Palestinian

Sonnet V

I touch you as a lonely violin touches the suburbs of the faraway place
patiently the river asks for its share of the drizzle
and, bit by bit, a tomorrow passing in poems approaches
so I carry faraway's land and it carries me on travel's road
On a mare made of your virtues, my soul weaves
a natural sky made of your shadows, one chrysalis at a time.
I am the son of what you do in the earth, son of my wounds
that have lit up the pomegranate blossoms in your closed-up gardens
Out of jasmine the night's blood streams white. Your perfume,
my weakness and your secret, follows me like a snakebite. And your hair
is a tent of wind autumn in color. I walk along with speech
to the last of the words a bedouin told a pair of doves
I palpate you as a violin palpates the silk of the faraway time
and around me and you sprouts the grass of an ancient place—anew

Translated By: Fady Joudah
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