In the Presence of Absence

In the Presence of Absence Review

"Darwish is to be read with urgency, in the night, when nothing else moves but his lines." —The Village Voice

By one of the most transcendent poets of this generation, a remarkable collection of prose poems that explores themes of love, pain, isolation, and connection. In this self-eulogy written in the final years of Mahmoud Darwish's life, Palestine becomes a metaphor for the injustice and pain of our contemporary moment.

Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008) was one of the most acclaimed poets in the Arab world. His poetry collections include Why Did You Leave the Horse Alone? and A River Dies of Thirst (Archipelago Books). In 2001 Darwish was awarded the Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize.


Title:In the Presence of Absence
Edition Language:English

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    In the Presence of Absence Reviews

  • Atri

    No matter how near you come, you will remain distant. No matter how often you are killed, you will live. So do not think that you are dead there, and alive here. Nothing proves this or that but metaph...

  • Edita

    Far away our dreams have nothing to do with what we do. The wind carries the night and goes on, and there is no destination. The destination differs from one road to another. But many and rugged are t...

  • Leif

    One must be careful when witnessing a self-elegy. Too sentimental or nostalgic and the piece becomes saccarine and cloying, even self indulgent. Too brusque or critical and it becomes an allegory to t...

  • Manuel Alberto Vieira

    "[...] Stars gaze down at us, my friend, like golden buttons shimmering on eternity's coat. They gaze down at us from a distant death that has yet to reach us. As I recite my address to you, a star sl...

  • Helen

    This is a book of poetic prose and poetry written when the popular Arab poet Mahmoud Darwish knew there was nothing that could be done to save his life - he knew he would die of a heart ailment. The b...

  • Christopher Iacovetti

    'When one letter is brought together with another, that is to say one absurdity with another, an obscure form reveals the clarity of a certain sound. This slow clarity opens a path for meaning to take...

  • Edita

    But words are beings: the game will bewitch you until you become part of it; you will spend your life defending the right of the game to lure you into the maze, to lure you into humour. You read and y...

  • Whitney Blank

    So far, I've not been let down by opening to a random page and reading whatever I find out loud. Beautiful! ...

  • Chhanda

    If possible I would put 5++++ stars for this book...

  • Huwaida

    For the best experience: play rain sounds, grab coffee, and don't rush through this book. This is the kind of prose that you want to enjoy over a long period of time. 4.5 stars tbh but I'll round it u...