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20607230

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  • 1. In Her Absence I Created Her ImageAuthor(s): Mahmoud Darwish and Fady JoudahReviewed work(s):Source: Poetry, Vol. 187, No. 3 (Dec., 2005), p. 199Published by: Poetry FoundationStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20607230 .Accessed: 01/04/2012 22:44Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspJSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. Poetry Foundation is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Poetry.http://www.jstor.org
  • 2. In Her Absence I Created Her ImageIn her absence I created her image: out ofthe earthlythe hidden heavenly commences. I am here weighingthe expanse with thejahili odes ... and absenceis the guide, it is the guide. For each rhyme a tentispitched. And foreach thingblowing in thewinda rhyme.Absence teachesme its lesson: "If it werentfor themirage you wouldnt have been steadfast... "And in the emptiness, I disassembled a letter fromoneof the ancient alphabets and I leaned on absence. So who am Iafter thevisitation? A bird, or a passerby amidst the symbolsand thememory vendors? As if Iwere an antique piece,as if Iwere a ghost sneaking in fromYabous, tellingmyself:lets go to the seven hills. Then I placedmy mask on a stone, and walked as the sleeplesswalk, led bymy dream. And fromone moonto another I leapt. There is enough of unconsciousnessto liberate things from theirhistory.And there isenough of history to liberate unconsciousnessfrom itsascension. "Take me to our earlyyears," my first girlfriend says. "Leavethewindows open for the house sparrow to enteryour dream," I say ... then I awaken, and no city is inthe city.No "here" except "there." And no therebut here. If it werent for themirageIwouldnt have walked to the seven hills...If it werent for themirage! Translations FadyJoudah by MAHMOUD DARWISH I99