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Qays, Layla, Madness (Majnun), and the Edge of the World - Adonis

BEGINNING OF MADNESS - Adonis

When your winds swept over his boundless forests he said: death has the shape of a butterfly and sex the face of madness.


There he is now, wearing what the sacrificial victim wears his tomorrow his yesterday his horizon a blade, and dust of words before his eyes. "Love is inventiveness, energy, something which no single poem states but which pervades them all," writes Adonis in The Qur'anic Text. He also writes, "I have named language woman and writing love," anticipating the difficulty of reaching his goal. He has embarked on "breaking the barrier" between the two, through a re­peated act which although endlessly repeated, is never able to "reach." Love, like the body, therefore bears an in­herent wound, similar to that which connects body and language: There is an "essential link berween the nature of language and that of the body, similar to that of melody and string." - from The Introduction, If Only the Sea Could Sleep: Love Poems

Love is wilderness, here. Cities of desire, opening and closing as butterflies in a storm, as the mouths of fish gasping out of water, as ‘flame’ and ‘flood; in the yelping throat of madness. The world is ink, history, paper; mythology and nature, a marriage of imagination and the body consummated in the epic fervent hand of Adonis’s vision of madness and love. Every poem reinvents love. There is only one real love story, written a hundred times, in a hundred different tongues, and Adonis has lived eternities in the spaces under the breathing skins of Majnuns roaming the earth in search of reconciliation, in search of truth. Even exile and exodus are no strangers here. This is vision born as poetry, and Adonis speaks as some prophet of arrival and separation.

Let me just pack up my words and leave.



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