A River Dies of Thirst PDF Book by Mahmoud Darwish


Click here to Download A River Dies of Thirst PDF Book by Mahmoud Darwish English having PDF Size 1.2 MB and No of Pages 166.

I sit in front of the television, since I can’t do anything else. There, in front of the television, I discover my feelings and see what’s happening to me. Smoke is rising from me and I reach out my severed hand to pick up my scattered limbs from many bodies, and I don’t find them but I don’t run away from themeither because pain has such an attraction.

A River Dies of Thirst PDF Book by Mahmoud Darwish

Name of Book A River Dies of Thirst
Author Mahmoud Darwish
PDF Size 1.2 MB
No of Pages 166
Language  English
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About Book – A River Dies of Thirst PDF Book

I am besieged by land and air and sea and language. The last aircraft has taken off from Beirut airport and put me in front of the television to witness  rest of my death with millions of other viewers. Nothing proves that I exist when I think, as Descartes says, but rather when I am offered up in sacrifice, now, in Lebanon.

I enter the television, I and the beast. I know the beast is stronger than me in the struggle between aircraft and bird. But I have become addicted, perhaps more than I should have, to the heroism of the metaphor: the beast has swallowed me but has not digested me. I have emerged unscathed more than once.

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My soul, which was confused iri the belly of the beast, has inhabited another body, lighter and stronger. But now I don’t know where I am: in front of the television or inside it. Whereas I can see my heart, rolling like a pine cone from a Lebanese mountain to Rafah! What’s going on in Nero’s mind as he watches Lebanon burn His eyes wander ecstatically and he walks like someone dancing at a wedding.

This madness is my madness, I know best, so let them set light to everything beyond my control. And the children have to learn to behave themselves and stop shouting when I’m playing my tunes! And what’s going on in Nero’s mind as he watches Iraq burn Does it please him that he awakens a memory in the history of the jungle that preserves his name as an enemy of Hamurabbi.

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And Gilgamesh and Abu Nuwas: My law is the mother of all laws, the flower of eternity grows in my fields, and poetry -what does that mean And what goes on in Nero’s mind as he watches Palestine burn Does it delight him that his name is recorded in the roll of prophets as a prophet that no body’s ever believed in beford.

As a prophet of killing who God entrusted with correcting the countless mistakes in the heavenly books: I too am God’s mouthpiece! And what goes on in Nero’s mind as he watches the world burn I am master of the Day of Judgement. Then he orders the camera to stop I 9 rolling, because he doesn’t want anyone to see that his fingers are on fire at the end of this long American movie!

They shouted ‘Hero!’ at him, and paraded him in public squares. Young girls’ hearts leapt at the sight of him, and from their balconies they pelted him with rice and lilies. Poets hostile to poetic convention addressed him in the rhetoric required to inflame the language: ‘Our hero! Our hope!’ And he, raised shoulder high like a victory flag, almost· lost his name in the flood of epithets. A River Dies of Thirst PDF Book

Shy as a bride on her wedding day: ‘I did nothing. I was just doing my duty.’ Next morning he found himself alone, recalling a distant past that waved at him with amputated fingers: ‘Our hero! Our hope!’ He looked around and saw none of yesterday’s enthusiastic audience. He sat in lonely rooms, searching his body for traces of heroism, picking out the splinters and collecting them in a metal dish, feeling no pain.

‘The pain is not here. The pain is elsewhere. But who is listening to their cry for help now’ He felt hungry. He searched for tins of sardines and brown beans and found they were past their sell-by date. He smiled and muttered: ‘Heroism too has its sell-by date,’ and realised he had done his patriotic duty!

The tree is sister to the tree, or its good neighbour. The big one is kind to the little one, giving it the shade it needs. The tall one is kind to the short one, sending it a bird to keep it company at night. No tree attacks the fruit of another tree, and if one tree is barren the other does not make fun of it. A tree does not attack another tree and does not imitate a woodcutter. A River Dies of Thirst PDF Book

When a tree becomes a boat it learns to swim. When it becomes a door it continues to keep secrets. When it becomes a chair it does not forget the sky that was once above it. When it becomes a table it teaches the poet not to be a woodcutter. The tree is forgiveness and vigilance.

It neither sleeps nor dreams, but is entrusted with the secrets of dreamers, standing guard night and day, showing respect to passers-by and to the heavens. The tree is a standing prayer, directing its devotions upwards. When it bends a little in the storm, it bends majestically, like a nun, looking upwards all the time. In the past the poet said: ‘If only the young were stones.’

He should have said: ‘If only the young were trees!’ When he thought about hope he felt weary and bored, and constructed a mirage and said: ‘How shall I evaluate my mirage?’ He searched in his desk drawers for the person he was before asking this question, but found no notes containing thoughtless or destructive urges. A River Dies of Thirst PDF Book

Nor did he find a document confirming he had stood in the rain for no reason. When he thought about hope, the gap widened between a body that was no longer agile and a heart that had acquired wisdom. He did not repeat the question ‘Who am ‘ because he was so upset by the smell of lilies and the neighbours’ loud music.

He opened the window on what remained of a horizon and saw two cats playing with a puppy in the narrow street, and a dove building a nest in a chimney, and he said: ‘Hope is not the opposite of despair. Perhaps it is the faith that springs from divine indifference which has left us dependent on our own special talents to make sense of the fog surrounding us.’

He said: ‘Hope is neither something tangible nor an idea. It is a talent.’ He took a beta blocker, putting the question of hope aside, and for some obscure reason felt quite happy. ‘Nobody will ever defeat me, or be defeated by me,’ said the masked security man, charged with some obscure task. He fired into the air and said: ‘Only the bullet should know who my enemy is. A River Dies of Thirst PDF Book Download

‘The air responded with a similar bullet. The unemployed passers-by weren’t interested in what went on in the mind of a masked security man, out of work like them, but he was seeking his own private war since he hadn’t found a peace to defend. He looked at the sky and it was high and clear.

As he didn’t like poetry he couldn’t see the sky as a mirror of the sea. He was hungry, and his hunger increased when he smelled falafel, and he felt his gun despised him. He fired up at the sky in case a bunch of grapes might fall on him from paradise. He was answered by a bullet, which kindled his suppressed enthusiasm for a fight.

He rushed forth into an imaginary war and said: ‘At last I’ve found work. This is war.’ He fired on another masked security man, hit his imaginary enemy and received a trifling wound to his leg. When he returned home to the camp, leaning on his rifle, he found the house crowded with mourners and smiled because he thought they thought he had been martyred. A River Dies of Thirst PDF Book Download

He said: ‘I’m not dead!’ When they informed him that he had killed his brother, he looked contemptuously at his gun and said: ‘I’m going to sell it to buy a shroud worthy of my brother.’ I was on my way to nowhere in particular, a gentle drizzle making me slightly damp, when an apple with no resemblance to Newton’s apple fell on me from the clouds.

I reached out my hand to pick it up and could neither feel nor see it. I stared up at the clouds and saw tufts of cotton wool driven northwards by the wind, away from the water tanks crouched on the roofs of the buildings. The light poured brightly down onto the asphalt, spreading out gleefully in the absence of pedestrians and cars, and perhaps laughing at my uneven progress.

Where is the apple that fell on me? I wondered. Maybe my imagination, which is independent from me, picked it up and ran off with it. I said: ‘I will follow it to the house where we live together in adjoining rooms.’ There on the table I found a sheet of paper on which was written, in green ink, one line: apple fell on me from the clouds; and I knew my imagination was a faithful hunting dog. A River Dies of Thirst PDF Book Download

Like one responding to a hidden inspiration, I listen attentively to the sound of the leaves in the summer trees … a shy, soothing sound descending from the far reaches of sleep … a faint sound smelling of wheat from an isolated spot in the countryside … a fragmented sound divided into improvised sections on the strings of a leisurely breeze, no part too diffuse or longwinded.

Leaves in summer whisper modestly, call out shyly, as if to me alone, stealing me away from the burden of material existence to a place of delicate radiance: there, behind the hills, and beyond the imagination, where the visible equals the invisible, I float outside myself in sunless light.

After a short sleep like an awakening, or an awakening like a short sleep, the rustling of the trees restores me to myself, cleansed of misgivings and apprehensions. I do not ask the meaning of this sound: if it is a leaf whispering confidences to its sister in the emptiness, or the breeze longing for a siesta. A River Dies of Thirst PDF Book Download

A voice without words rocks me, kneads me and forms me into a vessel which exudes a substance neither from it nor in it, like a feeling searching for someone to feel it. This is a confined land that we inhabit and that inhabits us. A confined land, not big enough for a short meeting between a prophet and a general.

If two cocks fight over a hen and their pride, their feathers fly off the walls. A confined land with no intimacy for a male and female dove to mate. A shameful land. A land yellow in summer, where the thorns carve notches in the surface of the rocks to pass the time, even if our poetry says the opposite, and supplies it.

With anthologies of descriptions of paradise to satisfy the hunger for beautiful things felt by those seeking to preserve their identity. We, narrators of the documents, official and poetic, required to be produced spontaneously, know that the skywill never abandon its many works to give evidence. A confined land, and we love it and believe it loves us, living or dead. A River Dies of Thirst PDF Book Free

We love it and know it is not big enough for brazen laughter, or a nun’s prayer, or to hang washing out of reach of the neighbours’ prying eyes, not big enough for the fourteenth line of a translated sonnet. A confined land with no area big enough for a proper battle with an external enemy, and no hall large enough for people to meet in to construct an extensive preamble to a spurious peace.

Staring at the ceiling, resting my face on my hand, like somebody stealing up on a fresh idea, or lying in wait for a gleam of inspiration. After a few hours I realise I wasn’t there on the ceiling, or here on the chair, and my mind was blank. I was absorbed in nothing, in total, complete emptiness, separated from my being, sheltered by a benign absence, and free from pain.

I was neither sad nor happy, for nothingness has no connection to emotion or to time. Not a single memory shook me awake from this trance, and no fear of my fate disturbed my obliviousness to the future. For some reason, I was sure I would live until tomorrow. I could not hear the sound of the rain shattering the smell of the breeze outside, or the flutes bearing the inside away. A River Dies of Thirst PDF Book Free

I was nothing in the presence of nothing, and I was calm, trusting, confident. For how lovely it is for a person to be nothing, only once, no more!