Dizziness

Dizziness

Let the rock fertilise to protect us from the fever of dizziness

Fix the moment into eternity

Freeze the wave that hurts us

Into the ogre’s belly

If you truly are

the god of all seasons.

A voice then will whisper:

“What use is it to throw a purple veil

over this cursed vision?”

My soul cried with pain

as cold and dead I walked

across the markets of the city

while crowds were consumed by a ring of fire.

How could I protect them from fire, from dizziness?

Dig more deeply, gravedigger

dig the grave, dig!

Khalil Hawi

(1919 – 1982)

One of Lebanon’s best-known twentieth-century poets. Born in Huwaya (Syria), Khalil Hawi grew up in Shwayr (Lebanon). He studied philosophy and Arabic at the American University of Beirut, and he obtained a scholarship to enrol at Cambridge University, in England, where he was awarded his Ph.D. in 1959. He then became a professor of Arabic literature at the American University in Beirut. Within a few years, he established himself as one of the leading avant-garde poets in the Arab world. His poetry relies heavily on symbols and metaphors and images, and it frequently has political and social overtones. An Arab nationalist at heart, he repeatedly expressed his sense of shame and rage at the loss of Palestine in 1948 and at subsequent Arab defeats at the hands of Israel. He lamented what he saw as the Arab world’s political and cultural decay, and he expressed deep pessimism about the possibility of a true Arab cultural and political revival. After 1975, Khalil Hawi experienced the desperation felt by all Lebanese who had to watch their country’s slow descent into chaos, internal disintegration, and manipulation by outside powers. He was outraged by Lebanon’s inability to stand up to the Israeli army when the latter invaded on 3 June 1982, and he deeply resented the other Arab governments’ silence about the Israeli invasion. He committed suicide on 6 June 1982.

Bring Me the Flute and Sing!

Bring Me the Flute and Sing!

 

 

Bring me the flute and sing

for song is the secret of eternity…

And the wailing of the flute remains

even after the end of existence…

Have you taken the forest

rather than the palace

to be your home?

Have you climbed up the creeks and the rocks?

Have you bathed in perfume

and then dried yourself with sunlight?

Have you tasted the wine of the early morning

from goblets of ether?

Bring me the flute and sing

that is the secret of eternity…

And the wailing of the flute remains

even after the end of life…

Have you sat alone at dusk among the grapevines…

Among their clusters hanging like chandeliers of gold…?

Have you made the grass your night-time bed?

Have you wrapped yourself in the evening air

with the sky for a blanket?

So that you can allow the future to come

and let go of the past?

Bring me the flute and sing

so our hearts may be in balance…

And the wailing of the flute remains

even after the end of all sins…

Bring me the flute and sing

forget maladies and their cures…

For people are but lines of poetry

written, but with water.

 

 

Kahlil Gibran

(1883-1931)

Khalil Gibran (born Gubran Khalil Gubran bin Mikhā’īl bin Sa’ad; Arabic
جبران خليل
جبران بن ميخائيل بن سعد, January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931) also known as Kahlil Gibran, was a Lebanese American
artist, poet, and writer. Born in the town of Bsharri in modern-day Lebanon (then part of the Ottoman Mount Lebanon mutasarrifate), as a young man he emigrated with his family to the United States where he studied art and began his literary career. He is chiefly known for his 1923 book The Prophet, a series of philosophical essays written in English prose. An early example of Inspirational fiction, the book sold well despite a cool critical reception, and became extremely popular in the 1960s counterculture. Gibran is considered to be the third most widely read poet in history, behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu.