Excerpts from We Call to the Eye & the Night
“I found love in arms extended toward another. / In the pebbles of a long walk. The stumble of my legs, / still moving to reach the hilltop,” writes Mariam Barghouti in the poem “(re)painting love.” Barghouti’s poem is one of the sixteen gathered here, all by poets of Palestinian heritage, that follow in the tradition of the love poem. These pieces originally appeared in We Call to the Eye & the Night: Love Poems by Writers of Arab Heritage, which was edited by Hala Alyan and Zeina Hashem Beck and published by Persea Books in February 2023. These poems speak to love in its many forms, whether it be while sitting in the chair of a hair salon, or mourning the death of a beloved friend, or meditating on fatherhood. In the past few months, these poems have steadied us as we witness and stand against the decimation of Palestinian life and land. In telling us what and how they love, these poets are telling us, in part, what is at stake.
Naomi Shihab Nye
Amanda Ghazale Aziz
Art by Devyn Mañibo.