Etel Adnan (born February 24, 1925 in Beirut, Lebanon) is a Lebanese-American poet, essayist, and visual artist. In 2003, Adnan was named “arguably the most celebrated and accomplished Arab American author writing today” by the academic journal MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States.

Besides her literary output, Adnan continues to produce visual works in a variety of media, such as oil paintings, films and tapestries, which have been exhibited at galleries across the world.


Etel Adnan

I know flowers to be funeral companions
they make poisons and venoms
and eat abandoned stone walls

I know flowers shine stronger
than the sun
their eclipse means the end of times

but I love flowers for their treachery
their fragile bodies
grace my imagination’s avenues

without their presence
my mind would be an unmarked