september, xxii.

An autumnal summer on the hills is like a prose poem. The breeze is
a gentle rhythm I feel but do not hear in the modest little trees, and the
yellowish plants are peeling images, and eloquence provokes similes
with its cunning verbs. The only celebration on these mountain paths
is provided by the lively sparrows, who flit between sense and nonsense.
Nature is a body divesting itself of trivial adornment until the figs,
grapes and pomegranates ripen and the rain awakens forgotten
desires. ‘If it weren’t for my mysterious need for poetry, I wouldn’t need
anything,’ says the poet, whose enthusiasm has waned so his mistakes
have become less frequent. He walks because the doctors have advised
him to walk, with no particular goal, to train the heart in a kind of
indifference necessary for good health. Any idea that occurs to him will
be purely gratuitous. The summer only rarely lends itself to verse. The
summer is a prose poem which takes no interest in the eagles circling
high above.

 Mahmoud Darwish, “Like a prose poem,” A River Dies of Thirst. (Archipelago Books, 2009)