April is ARAB-AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH in America. To honor my heritage, I chose to share some Poetry of resistance from occupied Palestine, today.
TRANSLATED BY SULAFA HIJJAWI
Published by the Ministry of Culture
Baghdad- Iraq 1968
This is a revised and edited version- 2009
THE OLIVE TREE by, Tawfiq Zayyad Because I do not knit wool* Because I am always hunted And my house is always raided. Because I cannot own a piece of paper, I shall carve my memoirs On the home yard olive tree. I shall carve bitter reflections, Scenes of love and yearnings, For my stolen orange grove And the lost tombs of my dead. I shall carve all my strivings For the sake of remembrance For the time when I’ll drown them In the avalanche of triumph I shall carve the serial number Of every stolen piece of land The place of my village on the map And the blown up houses, And the uprooted trees And every bloom that was crushed And all the names of the experts in torture The names of the prisons….. I shall carve dedications To memories threading down to eternity To the blooded soil of Deir Yasin And Kufur Qassem. I shall carve the sun’s beckoning And the moon’s whisperings And what a skylark recalls At a love deserted well. For the sake of remembrance, I shall continue to carve All the chapters of my tragedy And all the stages of Al- Nakbah On the home yard olive tree! * Reference to Madame Lafarge, who used to knit the names of the traitors and send them to the French revolutionaries during the French Revolution.