Artwork by Tarek Chemaly
Ounsi Al Hajj is dead.
Very recently, in "Khawatem" (or "endings") - the words which would be on the final page of Al-Akhbar which would contain his poetic musings to make the rest of us feel like petty amateurs - he wrote:
"The latters are in a hurry to bury the formers."
As if he knew.
Ounsi Al Hajj is dead. He left us.
From the same link I quote:
"We are all wounded by existence, and sometimes the poem is ahead of all others. Not because his wound is special, but because he is special from all other wounded by anticipating a more moreciful world. That anticipation is the poetry. There is not difference between one poetry and another apart from that expectation and the blueness of the perverseness of the childhood which is behind this expectation."
“Poets are damned but they are not blind, they see with the eyes of angels.” Said William Carlos Williams, speak of the worldly life of Ounsi Al Hajj whatever you want, but for many of us, he gave us what we needed - some form of a hope - as we live in bleak lands.