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Almond Blossoms and Beyond

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  5,535 ratings  ·  588 reviews
The first English translation of recent poetry by the late Mahmoud Darwish, the most important Palestinian contemporary poet
"If I die before you, I leave you the impossible."--Mahmoud Darwish, in "Exile"
"A brilliant poet--certainly the most gifted of his generation in the Arab world."--Edward Said
"I can only hope that the day will soon come, especially in English, when Da
Hardcover, 95 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Interlink Books (first published 2005)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
You won’t find the impossible, as it was
the day I found you, the day my passion birthed you,
waiting for you,
as for me, I’ll know how to bring you back.
And go with the river from one fate
to another, the wind is ready to uproot you
from my moon, and the last words on my trees
are ready to fall on Trocadero square. And look
behind you to find the dream, go
to any east or west that exiles you more,
and keeps me one step farther from my bed
and from one of my sad skies. The end
is beginning’s sister, go
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
i read this while listening to a spotify playlist “poetry of mahmoud darwish” and the experience has filled my heart with so much love

“[Mahmoud Darwish] quickly became, by the mid-1960s, the Palestinian Resistance Poet par excellence, striving to create a “national poem,” while at the same time preserving the deep, human essence of poetry, which transcends context and is in tune with, as Wordsworth called it, “the still, sad music of humanity.” It was possibly this striving, which gave his poetr
Sep 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I lingered over the unfolding poems in this collection. These are not poems that offer an escape to pain; they do find hope and beauty alongside grief and hurt, and for this they are a tremendous gift. Mahmoud Darwish is one of those poets I turn to regularly, often when I have spent time in a world of chaotic hurt, because he knows that world intimately. I'd certainly recommend this for lovers of poetry, and also for those who live alongside or in the midst of trouble and are seeking to endure.
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
”for who, if i dont speak in poetry, will understand me?”

my love for his poems = ♥️❣️♥️❣️♥️❣️♥️❣️♥️❣️♥️❣️♥️❣️♥️❣️♥️❣️♥️
" It is said: Love is as strong as Death.
I say: But lust for life, even with no satisfying proofs,
is stronger than Life and Death "

" Think of Others

As you prepare your breakfast, think of others
(do not forget the pigeon's food).
As you wage your wars, think of others
(do not forget those who seek peace).
As you pay your water bill, think of others
(those who are nursed by clouds).
As you return home, to your home, think of others
(do not forget the people of the camps).
As you sleep and co
Nehal Elekhtyar

يحاصرني واقع لا أجيد قراءته






Khashayar Mohammadi
I usually don't enjoy reading poems longer than a page, but I thoroughly enjoyed Darwish's writing. One of my favorite aspects of his writing has got to be his Self-impersonation. His Rimbaud style "Je est un autre", this other-ness of the self without compromise, which (Don't crucify me for saying this!) he pulls off even better than Rimbaud himself.

On a separate note, I don't want to sound Freudian, but I feel he has a strong breast fixation...
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Senses discovering a footprint of intuition, he said.
Then he sighed, oh, for that narrow street
that carried me in the ample evening
to her house on the outskirts of solitude.
Do you still keep my heart in memory
and forget the smoke of the city?


My spirit will wake to a former pain,
which comes like a letter from a balcony of memory.
I'll cry out-I am still alive-because
I feel the arrow piercing my side.


I'll select from my intimate memories
a description of what is suitable:
the scent of crumpled she
Farida El-gueretly
Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
While the translation does lose a lot of the beauty of Arabic poetry, I am still taken away by Darwish. As I can read Arabic I was fortunate enough to read the translation alongside the English version. Beautiful and organic metaphors from a nostalgic man longing for images that he can only reach out to in his still lucid memory as well as trying to reconcile his personal memories of his homeland with what is now only perceived as a land of conflict and sorrow.

"A brilliant poet - certainly the
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
If the world does not break into song now,
on this morning,
it will never sing.

If a writer were to compose a successful piece
describing an almond blossom, the fog would rise
from the hills, and people, all the people, would say:
This is it.
These are the words of our national anthem.

The dream must guide the dreamers
like inspiration-and with a sigh-
Take my hand, impossible thing!
And he disappeared, as legends do.
He did not win to die, nor lose to live.

I knew the end of the journey from the first step,
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-best
I have read this book backwards and forwards, sideways and with my eyes closed, moving my lips still to Darwish's lines.

I said, We visit what remains of life.
Life as it is, let us train ourselves to love the things
we had, to love things that are not our and ours.
If we look at them together from above,
like snow falling on the mountains,
the mountains may be as they were,
and the fields as they were,
and life, intuitive and communal.

Every poem, a breath. Some gust, others swirl. Some take the door to
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry-and-plays
I defend the need of poets for a tomorrow
and for memories at the same time;
I defend the tree that birds clothe,
as a country and a place of exile;
I defend a moon that is still suitable for a love poem;
I defend an idea shattered by the frailty of its holders,
and I defend a country hijacked by legends.
Nov 26, 2019 rated it liked it
some nice ones here and there!
Hussain Laghabi

"In a world without a sky, the earth
becomes an abyss. The poem,
a consolation, an attribute
of the wind, southern or northern.
Do not describe what the camera can see
of your wounds. And scream that you may hear yourself,
and scream that you may know you're still alive,
and alive, and that life on this earth is
possible. Invent a hope for speech,
invent a direction, a mirage to extend hope.
And sing, for the aesthetic is freedom/
I say: The life which cannot be defined
except by death is not a life.
I think Mahmoud Darwish has developed his sarcasm into a sad irony with years. All his life chasing after the dream now he sees how it fleets with time, leaving the poet with an eternal burden. He celebrates mature love/life, not the drunkenness of an early spring when you try to catch the happiness with "a hook of words". He is not anymore in winter which used to nurture hope drop by drop with a drenching rain like imprudent love letter. Darwish loves autumn and its obscurity which offers no na ...more
Sheri Fresonke Harper
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry-books
These last poems by Mahmoud Darwish are contemplative and have a dislocated feeling since many deal with adjusting to life exiled to a new home. He is an Arabic writer from Palestine and the quiet of these poems almost feel shell-shocked but at the same time very grateful.

The really show the impact that emigration has on people.

More of my review at :
Dec 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Definite Eternal favourite...of love, nostalgia, of home, of idenitity, of beauty..of everything!!
Apr 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it is the most beautiful book i advice everyone to read it
This wasn't my jam. I didn't know a lot about Darwish going into it, except that he is considered the Palestinian national poet which is cool. In the longer poems about living in exile, I understand that. He grapples with life in exile, approaching it in a variety of ways through interactions with other humans and concepts.
I could not get into any of the shorter poems at all; I found the style hard to parse and more intellectual than emotional (not what I'm looking for in a poem). I guess I have
Frank Ashe
Apr 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I'll give it four stars for the Exile sequence. Perhaps the first part didn't translate as well. Or I wasn't of a fit mind to appreciate it more.
محمد رزق
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: g
Bridget Latter
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
A beautiful and melancholy collection to read and re-read
Fedah | فضه
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
2-2.5 stars
Saadia Peerzada
Jun 28, 2020 rated it liked it
"Invent a hope for words, or an area, or a mirage,
to prolong hope.
And sing, for beauty is freedom."
Patti K
Oct 17, 2016 rated it liked it
This collection of poems by the Palestinian poet Darwish was
published post-humously in Arabic. It was translated into English
in 2009 by Mohammad Shaheen. Darwish published two dozen
books before his untimely death. He moved around a lot given
the state of Palestinian Territories. Darwish always felt in exile.
There is an amazing series of poems called Exile 1-4 that ends
the volume. His work is usually beautifully exquisite and deals
with diaspora, turmoil of identity and the sadness of most of
his co
Ziad AR
Weather it's one or several books, I'm not in a position to rate M Darwish's any collection of poems with a handful of stars. Darwish will remain to be phenomenal, always! His work gives me a break from the technicality and diversity of my favourite bilingual readings. Paradoxically, it's seeking break in a highly sophisticated set of Arabic poetry that always comes with a concoction of hope, history, storytelling, and melancholy behind it which will differently identify with every reader. One p ...more
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing

(Not I or he. The reader will wonder what poetry
says to us in time of disaster)

and blood
and blood

in your land.
In my name and in your name
in the almond blossoms
in the light and shade
in the children's milk
in the grain of wheat
in the tin of salt,
skillful hunters hit the targets
with distinction.

and blood
and blood.

This land is too small for the blood of its children,
who stand on the threshold
of the Resurrection in masses.
Is this land really blessed or baptized

in blood
and bloo
Peter Landau
Jul 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
What is lyric poetry? This is, or so says the back cover, and I judge books by their covers. The front cover ain't much, but inside the poems are heartfelt, funny and moving. I couldn't divorce the history of the author and his causes (there is an introductory bio) from the work. And why should I? He was a Palestinian and communist, and I felt this come through in the poems, sometimes more explicitly than others. I also found myself jotting down a stanza or two, lines that stepped out and struck ...more
Brian Sullivan
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Neither homeland nor exile are words,
but passions of whiteness in a
description of the almond blossom" writes Darwish in his poem To Describe an Almond Blossom.
"To describe an almond blossom no encyclopedia of flowers
is any help to me, no dictionary.
Words carry me off to snares of rhetoric
that wound the sense, and praise the wound they've made.
Like a man telling a woman her own feeling."

It is also true of his poetry.
Mohammed Galal
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Choosing to read this book is one of the few right decisions I took in this week..Words fail to describe how I was touched by it.It's a splendidly written book.As most books,it aches and startles me at the same time.... Mahomoud Darwish proves that Arabic is not a language that is on its way to extinction...How could these vaguewords be a vehicle for transferring all these emotions?
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محمود درويش
Mahmoud Darwish was a respected Palestinian poet and author who won numerous awards for his literary output and was regarded as the Palestinian national poet. In his work, Palestine became a metaphor for the loss of Eden, birth and resurrection, and the anguish of dispossession and exile.

The Lotus Prize (1969; from the Union of Afro-Asian Writers)
Lenin Peace Prize (1983; from the USSR)

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