Saturday, March 21, 2009

World Poetry Day 2009

July 14, 2008 - Mahmoud Darwich
gave a poetry reading
in the ancient Roman Theater
to celebrate Actes Sud's 30th anniversary.
Photo: Khala via flickr

World Poetry Day is today, March 21st.

Among the various events organized at UNESCO Headquarters on this occasion is an evening, organized devoted to Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwich, 2007 laureate of the Struga Poetry Evenings international festival.

I found on the Internet the following poem in translation attributed to Mahmoud Darwich:

My Mother

I long for my mother's bread
My mother's coffee
Her touch
Childhood memories grow up in me
Day after day
I must be worth my life
At the hour of my death
Worth the tears of my mother.

And if I come back one day
Take me as a veil to your eyelashes
Cover my bones with the grass
Blessed by your footsteps
Bind us together
With a lock of your hair
With a thread that trails from the back of your dress
I might become immortal
Become a God
If I touch the depths of your heart.

If I come back
Use me as wood to feed your fire
As the clothesline on the roof of your house
Without your blessing
I am too weak to stand.

I am old
Give me back the star maps of childhood
So that I
Along with the swallows
Can chart the path
Back to your waiting nest.

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