Years ago, a friend from Palestine recommended the works of Mahmoud Darwish. The local university didn't have any of his books on hand and at the time, there were other concerns in my life, things going on that made searching out good poetry difficult - school, work, other studies.
(It was the same friend who introduced me to Sufism and for that I am eternally grateful...)
Recently I picked up this book, remembering my friend's recommendation.
From the first page onward, from the first poem, I was drawn away into another world. I found these poems to have a stillness about them, a mournful but organic quiet. I can't really explain the impact... it was like this seed of beauty, long dormant, something unexpected, began to take shape with the discovery of this book. It was like discovering a new way of thought and looking at the wonder of the world. Reading this book I felt at times without time, stirred up into a trance. I guess it left me a little drunk.
My personal favourite poems of this collection:
"The Phases of Anat"
"From One Sky to Another, Dreamers Pass"
"Helen, What a Rain"
"Night Overflowing the Body"
I think my favourite line would have been:
"...We rise and dance until the/setting sun bleeds upon your feet..."
I'm sure if you love poetry, especially the poetry outside of the well-established Canons of England and the United States (still can't stand Merwin and Lowell...reading those two is like getting your heart sandblasted with boredom... I tell ya...) then you'll love Darwish.