Bearing Witness: Recent Literature from Lebanon

by Literary Review, The

This is Vol. 37, No. 3 of The Literary Review (Bearing Witness: Recent Literature from Lebanon).

Good morning, my exile.
The pages are white –
so are my memories –
my dreams must run their course
before I can begin.

From Memoirs in Exile by Joseph Abi Daher

I know you, Beirut!
I know you will rise
like a boiling
pot of milk!
like your plump smile
Like your tipsy voice.

From “A Sigh For Beirut” by Mansour Ajami

Do I contradict myself? Absolutely.
Today I’m a plant.
Yesterday I was an element
between fire and water.
I was something to harvest.
Now I’m a rose, a burning coal.
I am sun and shadow,
but I’m not a god.
Do I contradict myself? Absolutely.

From “The Desert: Diary of Beirut Under Siege, 1982” by Adonis (‘Ali Ahmad Sa’id)