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The Horse Fell Off the Poem


The horse fell off the poem

and the Galilean women were wet

with butterflies and dew,

dancing above chrysanthemum


The two absent ones: you and I

you and I are the two absent ones


A pair of white doves

chatting on the branches of a holm oak


No love, but I love ancient

love poems that guard

the sick moon from smoke


I attack and retreat, like the violin in quatrains

I get far from my time when I am near

the topo fell bloodied

with the horse’s blood ...


Mahmoud Darwish, "The Horse Fell Off the Poem" from The Butterfly’s Burden. Copyright © 2008 by Mahmoud Darwish, English translation by Fady Joudah.  Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.

Source: The Butterfly’s Burden (Copper Canyon Press, 2007)graphy of place ...