Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mahmoud Darwish, Shukran, Salaam. Shukran

I can't believe the news that he is gone- the Poet of the Land, of the People, the great Palestinian Mahmoud Darwish.

His inspiration was the Occupation; he wrote while under siege. His imagery skillfully turned a key and unlocked the beauty, tragedy and people who are the world we love, a world we mourn, His words, like tears, fell from his pen, his eyes, his heart and his brilliant mind onto pages read by thousands. his words, sometimes set to music, always kept our hearts beating with hope.

You will be so deeply missed, mourned, and your words will continue beyond your life as a catalyst for resistance, solidarity, and deep hope for days when fredom and love will wash over all people, and families will not be kept apart by tanks, borders and prisons.

Under Siege
By Mahmoud Darwish (1942-2008)

Here, where the hills slope before the sunset and the chasm of time
near gardens whose shades have been cast aside
we do what prisoners do
we do what the jobless do
we cultivate hope

In a land where the dawn sears
we have become more doltish
and we stare at the moments of victory
there is no starry night in our nights of explosions
our enemies stay up late, they switch on the lights
in the intense darkness of this tunnel

Here after the poems of Job, we wait no more

This siege will persist until we teach our enemies
models of our finest poetry

the sky is leaden during the day
and a fiery orange at night… but our hearts
are as neutral as the flowery emblems on a shield

here, not “I”
Here, Adam remembers the clay of which he was born

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

Under siege, life is the moment between remembrance
of the first moment, and forgetfulness of the last

here, under the mountains of smoke, on the threshold of my home,
time has no measure
We do what those who give up the ghost do…
we forget our pain

Pain is when the housewife forsakes hanging up the clothes to dry and is content
that this flag of Palestine should be without stain

Continue reading Under Siege.


bmk12000 said...

If I were told:
By evening you will die,
so what will you do until then?

. . .

Then I’d comb my hair and throw away the poem . . .
this poem, in the trash,
and put on the latest fashion in Italian shirts,
parade myself in an entourage of Spanish violins,
and walk to the grave!

Sara Ashes said...

beautiful, beautiful! thanks so much for adding this. i love it, bk!

Vanessa said...

thank you sara. i was writing my own blog about him when i read yours. im adding this poem to my blog. xoxo.