Ow'dat (Return) (2015)

For Viola, Bass Clarinet, Piano and tape

Based on the poetry by: Yehuda Amichai and Mahmoud Darwish

Narrators: Layale Chaker and Aviya Kopelman

Performed by Hannah Nicholas, Ran Kampel, Christian Reif

New World Symphony, Miami

April 6, 2015

Mahmoud Darwish

 

I come from there and I have memories 

Born as mortals are, I have a mother 

And a house with many windows, 

I have brothers, friends, 

 

And a prison cell with a cold window. 

Mine is the wave, snatched by sea-gulls, 

I have my own view, 

And an extra blade of grass. 

Mine is the moon at the far edge of the words, 

And the bounty of birds, 

And the immortal olive tree. 

I walked this land before the swords 

Turned its living body into a laden table. 

I come from there. I render the sky unto her mother 

When the sky weeps for her mother. 

And I weep to make myself known 

To a returning cloud. 

I learnt all the words worthy of the court of blood 

So that I could break the rule. 

I learnt all the words and broke them up 

To make a single word: Homeland…..

 

Yehuda Amichai

 

If I forget thee, Jerusalem, 

Then let my right be forgotten. 

Let my right be forgotten, and my left remember. 

Let my left remember, and your right close 

And your mouth open near the gate. 

 

I shall remember Jerusalem 

And forget the forest -- my love will remember, 

Will open her hair, will close my window, 

will forget my right, 

Will forget my left. 

 

If the west wind does not come 

I'll never forgive the walls, 

Or the sea, or myself. 

Should my right forget 

My left shall forgive, 

I shall forget all water, 

I shall forget my mother. 

 

If I forget thee, Jerusalem, 

Let my blood be forgotten. 

I shall touch your forehead, 

Forget my own, 

My voice change 

For the second and last time 

To the most terrible of voices -- 

Or silence.