Perhaps the most beautiful gift you can give some people – myself included – is a good book. So, I still remember that the Jordanian author Jamal Abu Hamdan gave me the book “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery many years ago, and that the Iraqi author Abdul Rahman Majid Al-Rubaie gave me the book “One Hundred Years “. or Solitude, ”and that Nizar Qabbani gave me the memoirs of the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. I testify that I lived. ” The Lebanese poet Paul Shaul gave me his translation of a selection of Neruda’s poems.
These are books of the type you like to read more than once. So my moment of freedom today will mostly be a break with an anthology by the poet Pablo Neruda, translated by Paul Shaul. Some readers, like me, are tired and tired of the news of the Covid-19 epidemic “and his grandson” Omicron, and of forced or free vaccination, and the possibility of the “civil war in Lebanon” breaking out and drowning in the English Channel, until it almost became a cemetery for those who dream of a better life in a European country .. and secretly emigrate in boats.
After all, today I turned to poetry, and to a book of selected poems – translated and presented by the great Lebanese poet Paul Shaul – published by the Arab Renaissance House – Beirut. I think many readers need a vacation from the madness of our present days to the world of poetry.Real poetry … I do not think it is coincidental that Nizar Qabbani’s memoirs of Neruda lead me, and Paul Shaul lead me with his translation of selections from his poems … And here I am merely resorting to poetry.
Poetry and redemption of (ideology)
In a love poem, Neruda writes:
After all, I want to love you
As always before
As if waiting
without seeing you
I was off
You’re moving around here
Bring your habits, your color, your guitar
Where a river meets another river
Where two volcanoes grow together
And the moon is the color of pottery
And at night when the earth trembles
All roots meet, mineral shine
Between two glasses of the same.
Oh my love, oh crazy ray
Neruda only occasionally writes ideological poems and cries out for love:
Oh my love, oh crazy ray
Oh purple threat, you come to see me
Climb your ladder
To the palace led by time with clouds
Oh my heart trapped in its zero walls
That’s why baby, your mouth, your skin
Your light and your sorrows are the inheritance.
wonder Paul Saul
In presenting his choices for the translation of Neruda, Saul says: “Neruda until his last days adhered to Marxist or communist thinking as a warrior and as a partisan, is that a contradiction? It is a transparent ambiguity, an ambiguity that illuminates the inside. “… Chilean Neruda is a great poet, a great dreamer and a great tragedy.” In his poetry he has the juice of an entire continent withdraw, with all his histories, myths, dreams, ideas, struggles, dictatorships, prisons and exiles, the poet of the continent, he is rather the poet of the continent!
Between Mahmoud Darwish and Neruda!
For some reason Neruda reminds me of the great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. The poet Adonis introduced me to him when we were sitting in a cafe on the seashore in Beirut, and I was pregnant with my son, and I felt that Mahmoud Darwish was a very independent personality. I remembered his poem: “Between Rita and my eyes there is a gun.” That great poet was able to sum up the tragedy in his own way, and when he married one of my Levantine relatives, and we were visiting him with my dear, unforgettable friend Balqis Al-Rawi, Nizar Al-Qabbani’s wife, I knew that this marriage of Mahmoud with my beautiful, young, educated, high-ranking cousin, would not last. She wanted children and did not have Mahmoud did not want it, as if his poems were his children and grandparents at the same time, and I remember what Paul Shaul said in his introduction to Neruda’s poems by Mahmoud Darwish, and especially his saying that he did not abandon lyricism. .
Paul Shaul adds about Neruda: He is not a popular poet in the sense of consumerism, politics or time, and that applies to the great poet Mahmoud Darwish. We met regularly for dinner at the Mandarin Restaurant (Verdun Street – Beirut) and got my son (and he was a child) from God’s hand, Mahmoud, but I knew Darwish did not want a child for him. have not. He was a fleeting lover in the children’s world, and marriage and association change poetry! Great poets like Neruda, Mahmoud Darwish and others serve creativity.
If Ghassan Kanafani lived
If Mahmoud Darwish was the great poet of Palestine, then Ghassan Kanafani is its great novelist. I sometimes think if the creator Ghassan Kanafani, the novelist, lived, what would he have written these days? What if he saw the amazing caricature published in “Al-Quds Al-Arabi” newspaper (11-21) by Umayyah Juha, representing a man who is the “Palestinian people” stabbed with six knives (the knives of normalization ) .. (a successful caricature is tantamount to a long article, but short), and if Kanafani had lived, what would he have written about what’s going on? Would he have shouted: Why did they not knock on the walls of the tank? We suffocate and bump against the tank walls, Ghassan, and they hear it, but the indifference to the rights of the Palestinian people expands.
May God protect Palestine and its people from the horrors of what is going on, and the cartoon expressed it. There are creators who do not have the right to die, like Ghassan Kanafani, but Israel knew it, and that is why it killed him.
But it will not succeed in killing those stabbed with knives in Umayyah Juha’s caricature. Ghassan lived in a Beirut suburb of Hazmieh, and our mutual friend always tried to warn him about the danger of his abode and the ease of his assassination, and he is the one who has no guards and does not carry a weapon not. We once slept with him on the way to his house to know how easy it is to kill him because we did it again in the parking lot of his car and he is the one who comes back at night and not a weapon does not carry, what made it easier for Israel to kill him .. Did Ghassan Kanafani know that his life did not belong to him but rather to Palestine because he owns the Weapon is the alphabet?
And what would he write these days, especially if he saw the caricature of “Umayyah Juha” in the newspaper “Al-Quds Al-Arabi”? We miss Ghassan, and in the dark days he misses the full moon.