Saturday, August 9, 2008

Mahmoud Darwish, R.I.P

A humane and heartstrong poet has died, of consequences of heart surgery. His physical heart had been ill for some years. Mahmoud Darwish was the leading Palestinian poet.

The BCC story is here from the Agence France-Presse (AFP). One learns more about Darwish there.

I'll try to find a poem later and post it.

Photo: AFP, 2005.


"I Come From There and Remember"
*****by Mahmoud Darwish

I am from There:
I come from there and remember,
I was born like everyone is born, I have a mother
and a house with many windows,
I have brothers, friends and a prison.
I have a wave that sea-gulls snatched away.
I have a view of my own and an extra blade of grass.
I have a moon past the peak of words.
I have the godsent food of birds and an olive tree beyond the ken of time.
I have traversed the land before swords turned bodies into banquets.
I come from there. I return the sky to its mother when for its mother the
sky cries, and I weep for a returning cloud to know me.
I have learned the words of blood-stained courts
in order to break the rules.
I have learned and dismantled all the words to construct a single one:

(Translated by Tania Nasir for publication in Marwan’s 1998 exhibit catalogue: “An Die Kinder Palästinas”, published in Berlin by the Goethe Institut.) H/T: Annie's Letters

A video of a song by Marcel Khalife, "Ummi" ("My Mother" in Arabic) whose words are a poem by Darwish. H/T: Annie's Letters

Here's the info about a book of selected poems by Darwish published by the University of California Press, Unfortunately, It Was Paradise.

And here is a review of a Hebrew edition of a book of poems (Mural in English) by Darwish in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz. The review is titled "Palestine as Poetry." Its author is Sami Shalom Chetrit, who teaches literature and politics in the film department at Sapir College in the Negev (Israel) and at UCLA.

1 comment:

FranIAm said...

Oh my- thanks for posting Jane. Off to bed, I have my road trip to Caminante's tomorrow!