One of the most inspiring couples I know of in contemporary Arabic literature are the writers Mourid Barghouti and Radwa Ashour.
So it was hard when Radwa Ashour passed away in 2014: I would miss her writing and her activism. And I could only imagine how much her family would miss her. One of her husband’s responses to her passage represents for me their constant attitude of gratitude and love:
42 years in the company of Radwa Ashour. Yes. Life can be that generous
I recently got the opportunity to read Barghouti’s collection of poetry, Midnight (or, my translation, Middle of the Night), available in Arabic-English parallel translation. It was another shared project for the couple, Barghouti writing the poetry and Ashour translating it to English. My comments on the collection are here. In this post, I just want to share my favorite excerpts of love poetry…
Take me now!
Take me, no one but you, to the window of your morning
so that we can see from it together:
so I can see the roads as less arduous.
Girl, take me
that we may both become more disturbing to the institution of love
and more defiant
than I could bear to be
alone. – My rendition ( p. 144)
On the value of human connection:
Nothing equals one more hour with you. (p. 112)