Books · Poetry · Read in 2022 · Reviews

(poetry) Book Thoughts: Almond Blossoms and Beyond (Mahmoud Darwish)

Confirmation that Darwish is the poet of my heart


Title: Almond Blossoms and Beyond (original title: كزهر اللوز أو أبعد)
Author: Mahmoud Darwish (Palestine)
Translators: Mohammad Shaheen (from Arabic)
Genre: Poetry
First published: 2009
Edition: Hardback, published by Interlink Books in 2009

Almond Blossoms and Beyond is one of the last collections of poetry that Mahmoud Darwish left to the world. Composed of brief lyric poems and the magnificent sustained Exile cycle, Almond Blossoms holds an important place in Darwish’s unparalleled oeuvre. It distills his late style, in which, though the specter of death looms and weddings turn to funerals, he threads the pulses and fragilities and beauties of life into the lines of his poems. Their liveliness is his own response to the collection’s final call to bid “Farewell / Farewell, to the poetry of pain.”


I think this is my third or fourth work by poet Mahmoud Darwish that I have read. There is just something about Darwish’s poetry that makes the words live in my heart. This collection of poems, written towards the end of his life, is no different. These poems are shorter and sharper than previous work I have read. Less complex maybe, but the emotion they provoke is the same.

Throughout these poems it is clear that the poet is aware of his own looming demise. He asks himself a lot of questions and contemplates his own mortality. Knowing he died not long after these poems were written gave them an extra layer of melancholy. I feel I am not eloquent enough to do his poetry justice, but suffice to say it touches my heart and I think that is what he meant to do.

I loved this collection and if you want to dabble in poetry, and into his work, I think this would be a good place to start. These poems are a little more accessible than some of his other work I have read, but no less beautiful and meaningful.

I will be reading more of his work soon.

7 out of 7 stars

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