He says, on the verge of death, he says,
“I have no more earth to lose”
Free am I, close to my ultimate freedom, I hold my fortune in my own hands
In a few moments, I will begin my life
born free of father and mother
I will chose letters of sky blue for my name http://www.arabworldbooks.com/Literature/poetry4.html
The lines from Mahmoud Darwish's State of Siege sihouette the shattering news of his death today. Mahmoud Darwish is a giant voice whose work not only illustrated a life under siege, under occupation but threw into question the consciousness with which political decisions are made and the danger for lives that are affected by them.
He is an exile as well as a resident; he is a compatriot and a revolutionary. His work applies to the realities of the Palestinian situation but like all important political work universalizes itself to the world. Hanan Ashwari said, "He started out as a poet of resistance and then he became a poet of conscience..."
He is celebrated in song, many works of the great Marcel Khalife, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcel_Khalife are based on Darwish's works. Not only Palestinians follow him, the world listens as we have listened to Whitman, Lorca and Neruda. The Lannan Foundation awarded him a Prize for Cultural Freedom and a Literary Lifetime Achievement Award. http://www.lannan.org/lf/cf/detail/mahmoud-darwish-awarded-2001-cultural-freedom-award/
The nobility and humility of Mahmoud Darwish exist simultaneously. As he became iconic, he maintained a thumbprint in the sand, a foot print on the road. His sense of right did not develop into a righteousness, but into a search for justice.
Memory for Forgetfullness, a memoir written in Beruit during the Civil War, walks us through the damaged streets of the city, with the poet, looking for coffee and for survival and wondering who is spared and why; who is lost and why. My attachment for this particular book is indelible. I use it both as a reference for inspiration and a reflection on our imperatives as writers
The poetry of resistance or in Darwish's case, existence, can often flash brilliant and evaporate--Darwish is an artist of magnificence of language and sensibility, music and power. His translator Fady Joudah, a renowned poet captured the translucence of Darwish's words in the new book The Butterfly's Burden --Copper Canyon Press, 2008
SONNET [ VI ]
A pine tree in your right hand. A willow in your left. This
is summer: one of your hundred gazelles has surrendered to the dew
and slept on my shoulder, near one of your regions, and so what
if the wolf notices, and a forest burns in the distance.
SONNET [ VI ]
Your sleepiness is stronger than fear. A wilderness of your beauty
dozes off, and a moon out of your shadows wakes to guard its trees.
What's the name of the place your footsteps tattooed on the ground,
a heavenly ground for the salaam of the birds, near echo?
And stronger than the sword is your sleep between your streamlined arms.
Like two rivers in the dreamer's paradise of what you do on the banks
to yourself carried above yourself. The wolf might carry a flute
and cry by the river: what isn't feminized . . . is in vain.
A bit of weakness in metaphor is enough for tomorrow.
For the berries to ripen on the fence, and for the sword to break under dew
Finally, his most famous first poem--Identity CardRecord! I am an Arab And my identity card is number fifty thousand I have eight children And the nineth is coming after a summer Will you be angry? Record! 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? Record! 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! Record! 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! Record 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! by Mahmoud Darwish 1964
Adieu, Allah kalikki, allah waffi
Causes Elmaz Abinader Supports