Sunday, August 10, 2008


To a reader: Do not trust the poem –
The daughter of absence
It is neither intuition nor is it
But rather, the sense of the abyss…

  • Mahmoud Darwish: The Expropriated Poet

    And history
    makes fun of its victims
    And its heroes
    Takes a look at
    them and
    passes by
    This sea is mine
    This moist air is mine
    And my
    Even if I spell it wrong on the coffin –
    Is mine
    As for
    Now that I am filled with all the possible
    Reasons for departure

    I am not mine.
    I am not mine
    I am not mine…

Poems by Mahmoud Darwish translated into English by As'ad AbuKhalil :

Oh, my proud wound
my homeland is not a briefcase
And I am not a
I am the lover, and the land is my beloved!
...The archeologist
is busy with stone analysis
he is looking for his eyes in the burial of
to prove that I
a passerby in the path,
without eyes!
a letter in the
sojourn of civilization!
And I plant my trees, slowly,
about my
love, I sing!

Promises of the Storm

So let it be...
I have to reject death
and to burn the tears of
the songs that are soaked with blood
and to strip naked the olive trees
from all the fake bushes
And if I am singing for joy
from behind the frightened
it is because the storm
promised me wine...
and new toasts
and rainbows
and because the storm
brushed away the sound
of lazy birds
and the borrowed bushes
from the standing trees
And let it be...
I have to brag about you,
o, wound of the city
You are the portrait of
lightening in our
sad nights
The street frowns at my face
and you protect me from
the shadow and the looks
of hate
I will sing for joy
from behind the frightened
since the storm hit
my homeland
It promised me wine,
and rainbows

Our Country is a Graveyard

Gentlemen, you have transformed
our country into a graveyard
You have planted bullets in our heads,
and organized massacres
Gentlemen, nothing passes like that
without account
All what you have done
to our people is
registered in notebooks

O, ye homeland, repeated
in massacres and songs
Point out to me
the source of death
Is it the dagger
or the lie?

From the Poem of Land

O, those who are departing to
the mountain of fire
pass on my body
O, those who are departing to
the Rock of Jerusalem
pass on my body
O those who are crossing
on my body
You shall not pass
I am the earth in a body
You shall not pass
I am the earth in its awakening
You shall not pass
I am the earth.
O you who are crossing on
earth in its wakening
You shall not pass
You shall not pass
You shall not pass!

...and they searched his chest
but they only found his heart
and they searched his heart
but they only found his people
and they searched his voice
but they only found his sadness
and they searched his sadness
but they only found his prison
and they searched his prison
but they only found themselves
in the chains.


I have the wisdom of a person sentenced to death

I have the wisdom of a person sentenced to death:
Nothing I own to own me,
I wrote my will with blood:
"Trust in water, o residents
of my song!"
And I slept bloodied
and crowned with my future...
I dreamt that the heart of the earth
is larger than its map,
and more clear than its mirrors
and my gallow.
And I fancied a white cloud
that can take me higher
like a hoopoe, and wind is my wing.
And in the morning,
I was awakened by the
call of the night guard
from my dream and
from my language:
You will live another death,
so revise your last will,
execution time has been
postponed again,
I asked: until when?
He said: Wait until you die further
I said: Nothing I own to own me
I wrote my will in blood:
"Trust in water
o residents of my song!

Murdered Victim No. 48

They found a lantern of flowers
in his chest, and a moon
While he was stretched out,
dead, over a rock
They found some pennies in
his pocket
they found a matchbox,
and a travel permit..
On his young hand
there was a tattoo...
His mother kissed him..
and she cried one year for him
And a year later, boxthorn
sprouted in his eyes
and darkness intensified
And when his brother grew
he went looking for a job
in the city markets
They imprisoned him..
He did not have a travel permit
He was carrying a box
of moldiness
and other boxes
Oh, children of my homeland
This is how the moon died!


We shall meet in a little while
in a year
in two years
and a generation..
..I sip the kiss
from the edge of knives..
I am the one in whose skin
chains are carving
a shape of the homeland.

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