If I Were Another
If I were another on the road, I would not have looked
back, I would have said what one traveler said
to another: Stranger! awaken
the guitar more! Delay our tomorrow so our road
may extend and space may widen for us, and we may get rescued
from our story together: you are so much yourself ... and I am
so much other than myself right here before you!
If I were another I would have belonged to the road,
neither you nor I would return. Awaken the guitar
and we might sense the unknown and the route that tempts
the traveler to test gravity. I am only
my steps, and you are both my compass and my chasm.
If I were another on the road, I would have
hidden my emotions in the suitcase, so my poem
would be of water, diaphanous, white,
abstract, and lightweight ... stronger than memory,
and weaker than dewdrops, and I would have said:
My identity is this expanse!
If I were another on the road, I would have said
to the guitar: Teach me an extra string!
Because the house is farther, and the road to it prettier—
that's what my new song would say. Whenever
the road lengthens the meaning renews, and I become two
on this road: I ... and another!
Mahmoud Darwish's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (If I Were Another by Mahmoud Darwish )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
Harivansh Rai Bachchan
(27 November 1907 – 18 January 2003)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi
(1207 - 1273)
(20 October 1854 – 10 November 1891)
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- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- The Tiger, William Blake
- The Solitary Reaper, William Wordsworth
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