Les Éventails, Portraits of Passion

By Nathalie Handal b. 1969 Nathalie Handal
The shadows of birds fading on a fighter’s back
The undressing of words on an unstamped postcard
The wet swings in the distant park
The jealousy of raindrops on the umbrella of lovers
The laughter of a boy before a bird
The song of two flutes, two swords, two bracelets, two fingers
The stare of a wave before a pearl
The yearning between the legs of a farmer’s wife
The opening of doors             closing midday
The sudden howling of our muse—and
les éventails—disturbing the guest inside of us

Nathalie Handal, “Les Éventails, Portraits of Passion” from Love and Strange Horses. Copyright © 2010 by Nathalie Handal. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Used by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.

Source: Love and Strange Horses (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010)

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Poet Nathalie Handal b. 1969

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Love, Desire, Arts & Sciences, Architecture & Design, Painting & Sculpture

Poetic Terms Free Verse


French-American poet, playwright, translator, and editor Nathalie Handal is originally of a Palestinian family from Bethlehem. She has lived in Europe, Latin America, the Arab world, and the United States. Handal earned an MFA in poetry from Bennington College and an MPhil in drama and English from the University of London. She is the author of the poetry collections The Neverfield (1999); The Lives of Rain (2005); and Love and . . .

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SUBJECT Love, Desire, Arts & Sciences, Architecture & Design, Painting & Sculpture

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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