Why Did You Leave the Horse Alone?

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Archipelago Books, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 197 pages
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At once an intimate autobiography and a collective memory of the Palestinian people, Mahmoud Darwish's interlinked poems are collective cries, songs, and glimpses of the human condition. The collection-widely considered his 'chef-d'oeuvre' -is a poetry of myth and history, of exile and suspended time, of an identity bound to the Arabic language and his displaced people. Darwish's poems-specific and symbolic, simple and profound-are historical glimpses, existential queries, chants of pain and injustice of a people separated from their land.

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Why did you leave the horse alone?

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"Poetry is our ladder to the moon," explains Palestinian author Darwish, and in this bilingual edition he uses it achingly to create both personal and collective history. Read full review

About the author (2006)

Mahmoud Darwish (19412008) was born in the village of al-Birwa, in the Galilee, Palestine. He became a refugee at age seven. He worked as a journalist and editor in Haifa and left to study in Moscow in 1970. His exilic journey took him to Cairo, Beirut, Tunis, Paris, Amman, and Ramallah, where he settled in 1995. He is one of the most celebrated and revered poets in the Arab world. He published more than thirty books, and his poetry has been translated into thirty-five languages. Darwish was named a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by France in 1993, was awarded the Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize in 2001, the Prince Claus Awardin 2004, and the Cairo Prize for Arabic Poetry in 2007. Jeffrey Sacks is a writer, translator, and scholar living in New York City. He teaches Arabic at Columbia University and is completing a book on Arabic and Arab Jewish literature, Opening Figures: Acts of Mourning in Modern Arabic Letters.

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