Mahmoud Darwish's 'Lesson from the Kama Sutra'.

Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008) was born in Galilee and spent his writing life as a ‘Palestinian poet’. Or perhaps ‘The Palestinian Poet’. Most of his life is so far beyond my experience, but his poetry is not.

This is taken from ‘Unfortunately, It Was Paradise’. Selected poems, translated and edited by Munir Akash and Carolyn Forche. It’s a unique collection of poems.

Zbigniew Herbert's 'The Envoy of Mr. Cogito'.

It’s hard to assess poems by a poet who writes in a language that isn’t your own. It’s easy to miss the poetry and be seduced by the content or the attitude. But Herbert is arguably one of the great poets of the twentieth century and by the time he died he was revered in his own country.

 This is taken from The Collected Poems, 1956-1998, translated by Alissa Valles and published by Atlantic books. It is probably essential reading for anyone interested in twentieth century European poetry.

 I’m apologetic about the way I pronounce his first name, but more of his poems will inevitably appear in later podcasts. Meeting Mr. Cogito is good for you.