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Why Did You Leave the Horse Alone Paperback – 4 Feb 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 197 pages
  • Publisher: ARCHIPELAGO BOOKS; Bilingual edition (4 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976395010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976395010
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 1.6 x 18.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,084,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'His is the voice of dispossessed Palestine but its longings, including sheer lust, are universal' --The Independent

'Mr. Darwish's prose gave voice to the Palestinian experience of exile, occupation and infighting' --The New York Times

'The struggle for freedom was always central to Darwish's work - In much of his poetry Darwish affirmed his own and his people's reality yet he did not deny that of the Other' --Guardian --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Mahmoud Darwish (1941 - 2008) won many awards for his poetry and prose and is regarded as the Palestinian national poet. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Poetry as if one were timeless and in a trance 6 Aug. 2008
By Flippy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
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:
"Poetic Arrangements"
"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.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Why Did You Leave the Horse Alone? 20 May 2008
By Edita - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Why Did You Leave the Horse Alone?

"I don't know the desert
But I planted words at its edges"
So Mahmoud Darwish plants hope for his country and love in order to see the blossoming possibility of return, of meeting.He plants words in his poems to hide the emptiness of the present and the absence of home snatched by the gust of the wind.He has nothing to offer or expect,that's why the poet himself becomes his dream:
"I am my dream. Whenever the earth narrows, I expand it
with the wing of a swallow. I expand. I am my dream..."
Poetry is the only thing left that you can trust and lean on, it shelters you from yesterday's tragedy and tomorrow's insecurity, it unites two strangers, two chased lovers on the road which leads nowhere, two shadows of what they were, it opens the door to what "lies between a between".The reader discovers the poem, falls in love with Darwish's language, his country and ability to love, to become a dream, we as well as the poet inherit the land of the words and possess their precious meaning.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful Poetry--Beautiful Edition 7 April 2013
By Dan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a gorgeous bilingual edition of Darwish's masterwork. With Arabic and English text on facing pages, it's terrific for American and/or English-speaking readers who can already read or are learning Arabic. Though paperback, the pages have weight to them, and rough, naturalistic edges. The cover is also matte, and well-textured. The book is a pleasant size and feels good to hold. Inside, the poetry is at least as amazing as its vessel--Darwish is one of the most communicative, clever, poetic, and moving writers in any language. This is a book that instantly became one of my very favorites.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Poetry at its best 18 Oct. 2008
By N. Simaan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This collection of poems by Mahmood Darwish brings some of the most complex imagery wrapped in simple words. The poems are as complex and as fragile as the political situation behind the poet's exile from his own country. As a Palestinian, I was very satisfied to see that the translator managed to overcome the language barrier and to bring the English readers the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish. Mahmoud brings in this collection of poems beauty, love, and pain in impossible depiction of the Palestinian human condition of exile. The following example depicts the relationship between a father and a naive son, the pain of an uprooted father, the sarcasm of the powerless, and the beauty of landscapes in which their tragedy unfolds:

-Are you speaking to me my father?
-They signed a truce on the island of Rhodes,
my son!
- What about us, what about us, father?
- It's over...
-How many times will it be over, father?
-Its over. They did their duty:
They fought the enemy's airplanes with broken guns
We did our duty. We drew away from the canterberry tree
so we wouldn't tip the commander's hat
we sold our wives' rings so they could hunt birds, my son!
-Will we remain here, then, father
under the willow of the wind
between the sky and the sea? "

I loved this book, although I believe some of the best poetry of Mahomoud Darwish has not been translated yet.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An Amazing Poet 20 May 2012
By Sarah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This collection of poetry is a prime example of the torture of suffering. Mahmoud Darwish captures the pain and longing of someone from a lost land. He perfectly portrays the suffering of the Palestinian people who long to return to their homeland.
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