Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mahmoud Darwish RIP

The great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish has passed. Edward Said argued that the predicament of the Palestinian people is a universal crime, which Darwish's great poetry captures, making us all witnesses.

From Today's Guardian;

None of us really thought he'd die. Our loss is great, we tell each other. In our minds we think of

Edward Said, of Haider Abdel-Shafi, of Faisal Husseini, and even - yes - of Yasser Arafat. The "big men" of Palestine. And now, Mahmoud Darwish.

I Come From There by Mahmoud Darwish
I come from there and I have memories
Born as mortals are, I have a mother
And a house with many windows,
I have brothers, friends,
And a prison cell with a cold window.
Mine is the wave, snatched by sea-gulls,
I have my own view,
And an extra blade of grass.
Mine is the moon at the far edge of the words,
And the bounty of birds,
And the immortal olive tree.
I walked this land before the swords
Turned its living body into a laden table.

I come from there. I render the sky unto her mother
When the sky weeps for her mother.
And I weep to make myself known
To a returning cloud.
I learnt all the words worthy of the court of blood
So that I could break the rule.
I learnt all the words and broke them up
To make a single word: Homeland.....


Tabitha Says said...

Hi Chris, thanks for posting this. I heard the Democracy Now special on Mahmoud Darwish and wish I could understand his words without translation because the words sound so good together in Arabic--as you know I have a hard time reading translations, I always want to read stuff in the language it was written in, or get a particular translation that is recommended...a good reason to learn languages I guess, although I am not even very bilingual--besides memorization of Goethe poem's my high school German only seems to work on Italians who speak English (English and German that is)...here's
the Democracy Now tribute

MAHMOUD DARWISH: [translated] The echo gets closer, breaking the distance, thundering, finds the echo and resounds: forever here, here forever. And the time has gone. The echo has become a country, here. O father, crack the walls of the universe, echo surrounding the echo, and let it explode! I am from here, and here I am, and I am I, and here I am, and I am I.

CO said...

hi tobi,

Thanks for the democracy now link. i just downloaded it so i can listen to it at work.