Fady Joudah & the Late Styles of Mahmoud Darwish


Here’s the opening lines from If I Were Another, a posthumous collection of the lyric epics of Mahmoud Darwish, as translated by Fady Joudah:

…As I look behind me in this night
into the tree leaves and the leaves of life
as I stare into the water’s memory and the memory of sand
I do not see in this night
other than the end of this night
the ticking clock gnaws at my life by the second
and also shortens the life of this night
nothing of the night or of me remains to wrestle over.. or about
but the night goes back to its night
and I fall into this shadow’s pit

I invited Joudah to discuss his connection to these poems, which span fifteen years towards the end of Darwish’s life, a time during which, as Joudah explains, Darwish began to feel that he had truly come into his voice… which is true, but as Joudah reveals, that doesn’t mean that voice wasn’t capable of changing even further…


6 November 2009 | in translation |

« Previous Page