‘We Have On This Earth What Makes Life Worth Living’

Arabic Literature (in English)

I think Ramsey Nasr’s poem (below) speaks to the ongoing Bab Al Shams project. But in Elias Khoury’s letter to the village’s founders, the Lebanese novelist — author of Bab Al Shams (Gate of the Sun) — referenced a poem by Mahmoud Darwish, “We have on this earth what makes life worth living”:

163356_491451367564933_566119441_nI found a number of translations of this poem online. Below are two rather different versions by translators of Unfortunately, It Was Paradise (perhaps modified slightly by Darryl Li in the reading) and Karim Abuawad; at bottom is the original.

The translation from Unfortunately (via Li) is transcribed from a video, so I’m not sure how it should be laid out on the page.

We have on this earth what makes life worth living

the aroma of bread at dawn

a woman’s opinion of men

the works of Aeschylus

the beginnings of love

grass on a stone

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