Longing is the absent chatting with the absent. The distant turning towards the distant. Longing is the spring’s thirst for the jar-carrying women and vice versa. Longing allows distance to recede, as if looking forward, although it may be called hope, were an adventure and a poetic notion. The present tense is hesitant and perplexed, the past tense hangs from a Cypress tree standing on its rooted leg behind a hill, enveloped in its dark green, listening intently to one sound only : the sound of the wind. Longing is the sound of the wind.

—Mahmoud Darwish, from “XIV”, In the Presence of Absence. Archipelago, 2011