Mahmoud Darwish #Palestinian #Poet

Two great Poems today- With a Highlight on Palestinian Poet, Mahmoud Darwish-

I periodically turn to poets from my heritage and am always reminded and delighted by the deep roots we have as Palestinian’s in the art forms of Spoken Word, Storytelling and Poetry.

This first Poem is one of his early ones, circa 1964 and the second poem below it, circa 2008.

Identity CardMahmoud Darwish – 1964

Write down!
I am an Arab
And my identity card number is fifty thousand
I have eight children
And the ninth will come after a summer
Will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
Employed with fellow workers at a quarry
I have eight children
I get them bread
Garments and books
from the rocks..
I do not supplicate charity at your doors
Nor do I belittle myself at the footsteps of your chamber
So will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
I have a name without a title
Patient in a country
Where people are enraged
My roots
Were entrenched before the birth of time
And before the opening of the eras
Before the pines, and the olive trees
And before the grass grew

My father.. descends from the family of the plow
Not from a privileged class
And my grandfather..was a farmer
Neither well-bred, nor well-born!
Teaches me the pride of the sun
Before teaching me how to read
And my house is like a watchman’s hut
Made of branches and cane
Are you satisfied with my status?
I have a name without a title!

Write down!
I am an Arab
You have stolen the orchards of my ancestors
And the land which I cultivated
Along with my children
And you left nothing for us
Except for these rocks..
So will the State take them
As it has been said?!

Therefore!
Write down on the top of the first page:
I do not hate poeple
Nor do I encroach
But if I become hungry
The usurper’s flesh will be my food
Beware..
Beware..
Of my hunger
And my anger!
Credit- http://www.barghouti.com/poets/darwish/bitaqa.asp

Who Am I, Without Exile?

BY MAHMOUD DARWISHTRANSLATED BY FADY JOUDAH

A stranger on the riverbank, like the river … water
binds me to your name. Nothing brings me back from my faraway
to my palm tree: not peace and not war. Nothing
makes me enter the gospels. Not
a thing … nothing sparkles from the shore of ebb
and flow between the Euphrates and the Nile. Nothing
makes me descend from the pharaoh’s boats. Nothing
carries me or makes me carry an idea: not longing
and not promise. What will I do? What
will I do without exile, and a long night
that stares at the water?

Water
binds me
to your name …
Nothing takes me from the butterflies of my dreams
to my reality: not dust and not fire. What
will I do without roses from Samarkand? What
will I do in a theater that burnishes the singers with its lunar
stones? Our weight has become light like our houses
in the faraway winds. We have become two friends of the strange
creatures in the clouds … and we are now loosened
from the gravity of identity’s land. What will we do … what
will we do without exile, and a long night
that stares at the water?

Water
binds me
to your name …
There’s nothing left of me but you, and nothing left of you
but me, the stranger massaging his stranger’s thigh: O
stranger! what will we do with what is left to us
of calm … and of a snooze between two myths?
And nothing carries us: not the road and not the house.
Was this road always like this, from the start,
or did our dreams find a mare on the hill
among the Mongol horses and exchange us for it?
And what will we do?
What
will we do
without
exile?

Mahmoud Darwish, “Who Am I, Without Exile?” from The Butterfly’s Burden. Copyright © 2008 by Mahmoud Darwish, English translation by Fady Joudah.  Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press. http://www.coppercanyonpress.orgSource: The Butterfly’s Burden (Copper Canyon Press, 2007)

Photo credit- Wikipedia

#Poetry #MahmoudDarwish #Palestine

6 thoughts on “Mahmoud Darwish #Palestinian #Poet

Add yours

  1. Darwish was an incredibly talented, deeply feeling poet. With much to express, of course. Thank you for sharing this, Jay. I had no idea this was part of your heritage.

    Like

    1. Yes he is, as are so many more I will read; and share some others as well. And yes I am half, which makes me whole;) my father is Palestinian from Ramallah. My mother is Irish and a wee bit of German. So much lyricism and poetry in my ancestry to explore. Have a great day, George 🙋🏻‍♂️

      Liked by 1 person

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