Poems

Delirium

Notes

There was much debate over the title here – was the state described actually one of dizziness? Intoxication? We also played around with synonyms for smell a lot – was it an odour, scent, fragrance, stink? We felt there was something almost mystical about the mysterious herbs – the sense of a holy ritual. The poem also made a lot more sense to us once we had unpicked some of the allusions – the grandmother’s looping proverbs nod to One Thousand and One Nights whilst Nasser also paraphrases Cavafy’s poem ‘The City’:

      This city will always pursue you. You will walk
      the same streets, grow old in the same neighborhoods,
      will turn gray in these same houses.
      You will always end up in this city. Don’t hope for things elsewhere:
      there is no ship for you, there is no road.
      As you’ve wasted your life here, in this small corner,
      you’ve destroyed it everywhere else in the world.

                                              (Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard)

Clare Pollard, Workshop Facilitator

There was much debate over the title here – was the state described actually one of dizziness? Intoxication? We also played around with synonyms for smell a lot – was it an odour, scent, fragrance, stink? We felt there was something almost mystical about the mysterious herbs – the sense of a holy ritual. The poem also made a lot more sense to us once we had unpicked some of the allusions – the grandmother’s looping proverbs nod to One Thousand and One Nights whilst Nasser also paraphrases Cavafy’s poem ‘The City’:

      This city will always pursue you. You will walk
      the same streets, grow old in the same neighborhoods,
      will turn gray in these same houses.
      You will always end up in this city. Don’t hope for things elsewhere:
      there is no ship for you, there is no road.
      As you’ve wasted your life here, in this small corner,
      you’ve destroyed it everywhere else in the world.

                                              (Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard)

Clare Pollard, Workshop Facilitator

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Comments (1)

Husam Massalha

قصيدة جميلة معبرة. اعجبني الربط بين الروائح المعتادة للنباتات العطرية ورائحة البخور وتغلغلها في شخصية الانسان. هل يمكن ان نتنازل عن ماضينا؟ عن مركبات شخصيتنا الاساسية؟ هل هذا ضروري لكي ننطلق؟

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