Nostalgia Letters to Jasmine
Syria, Literature, 7/25/1997
"Nostalgia Letters to Jasmine" is the latest collection of poems by the Syrian novelist and poetess, Ghada al Samman, in which she expresses her inner feelings of homesickness and yearning to be once again in Damascus, the city of Jasmine and clover flowers.
Being the symbol of the city, Jasmine will always stir in the poetess, the feelings that her stay outside the fringes of the old city will envelop her with the total loss.
"When, I was at home, I used to yearn for departure into the Diaspora world; now, I cry because I have fulfilled my dreams ."
Al Samman loses herself in her reverie and day-dreaming as she enters into the worlds of her beloved city:
Last night, my memory told me
to draw a lamb
I drew a city called Damascus
I did not draw it as
a city emerging from the mirrors of the past, or
Boxes of homesickness
But I did draw the desire of my future with her
Last night, I drew out my old window at al-Najma Square
Stood there to comb my hair.
The poetess here, finds greater relief and happiness in trying to make intimacies with abnormality and surreal things.
Out of the inner women lines of vague dreams, one could see the old minarets and black silhouettes of Damascus fringed off with Jasmine.
"The city's minarets are of light, silver and ivory you step in encircled by fear and astonishment I start with the minarets embroidered in gold cities of palm trees and eternal ecstasy"
Al Samman's Damascus is the city as a panacea that treats all ailments of nostalgia, yearnings for the past memories.
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