The Butterfly's Burden: Poems
“Mahmoud Darwish is the Essential Breath of the Palestinian people, the eloquent witness of exile and belonging, exquisitely tuned singer of images that invoke, link, and shine a brilliant light into the world's whole heart. What he speaks has been embraced by readers around the world—his in an utterly necessary voice, unforgettable once discovered.”—Naomi Shihab Nye
Mahmoud Darwish is the leading poet in the Arab world, an artist and activist who attracts thousands to his public readings.
The Butterfly's Burden combines the complete text of Darwish's two most recent full-length volumes, linked by the stunning memoir-witness poem “A State of Siege.” Love poems, sonnets, journal-like distillations, and interlaced lyrics balance old literary traditions with new forms, highlighting loving reflections alongside bitter longing.
From Sonnet [V]
I touch you as a lonely violin touches the suburbs of the faraway place.
Mahmoud Darwish is the author of 30 books of poetry and prose, as well as the Palestinian Declaration of Independence. He has worked as a journalist, was director of the Palestinian Research Center, and lived in exile until his return to Palestine in 1996. He has received many international awards for his poetry.
Translator Fady Joudah is a physician based in Houston, Texas, and holds an MFA from Warren Wilson. He is active in Doctors Without Borders.
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We Were Missing a Present
We Walk on the Bridge
Sonnet v Cadence Chooses Me
The Stranger Stumbles upon Himself in the Stranger
A Cloud from Sodom
A Lesson from Kama Sutra
The Damascene Collar of the Dove
A State ofSiege 2002
Dont Apologize for What Youve Done 2003
in the lust of cadence
Have the Wisdom of One Condemned to Death
Another Day Will Come
A Does Young Twins
Take My Horse and Slaughter It
The Strangers Land the Serene Land
No More and No Less
Two Stranger Birds in Our Feathers
Waited for No
The Subsistence of Birds
Maybe Because Winter Is Late
Who Am I Without Exile?
Jameel Bouthaina and I
A Mask for Majnoon Laila
And I Even ifI Were the Last
In My Mothers House
Dont Apologize for What Youve Done
On a Day like Today
Set Down Here and
If You Return Alone
Didnt Apologize to the Well
No Banner in the Wind
The Horse Fell Off the Poem
To Our Land
And We Have a Land Nothing but Light
The Beloved Hemorrhaged Anemones
A Man and a Fawn Are in the Garden
Sonnet iii I Waited for No One The Damascene Collar of
Now When You Awaken Remember
Say What You Want
Sonnet i Set Down Here and Now I Didnt Apologize to the Well