THE OLIVE TREE (Tawfiq Zayyad) #poetry by jay

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.

Photo by Emre on Unsplash

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