Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mahmoud Darwish (1941- 2008)

Mahmoud Darwish (13 March 1941 - 9 August 2008)

Stunned and saddened immensely to hear of Mahmoud Darwish's untimely death. What a great loss. Darwish was probably my favourite of all the contemporary poets I have read and one of my all time favourites. Along with Faiz and Hikmet, one of the poets to have affected me most deeply. At this point, the great man's words themselves seem the most apt. RIP.

'One of the manifestations of a Palestinian poet's freedom is that he will not be tied down by the conditions placed by the Israelis. It's a sensitive issue and I might even be misunderstood saying this: that I can write a love poem and it is a form of resistance; that I can write about a tree or a beautiful morning and that too is a form of resistance.'

Below, lines from the Jidariyya:

Is what used to be mine: my yesterday, and what will be mine
My far away tomorrow, the return of the lost soul
As if nothing ever was
As if nothing ever was
A small wound in the arms of the absurd present...
And History mocks its victims
And its heroes...
He throws a glance on them and passes...
This sea is mine
This humid air is mine
And my name –
Even if I misspell it on my coffin –Is mine.
As for me — full as I am
Of all the reasons for parting
I am not mine.
I am not mine
I am not mine...

1 comment:

That Armchair Philosopher said...

And my name –
Even if I misspell it on my coffin –Is mine.

Oddly touching, can't explain why. Did you read him in Arabic? or translations?