I come from there and I have memories
Born as mortals are, I have a mother
And a house with many windows,
I have brothers, friends,
And a prison cell with a cold window.
Mine is the wave, snatched by sea-gulls,
I have my own view,
And an extra blade of grass.
Mine is the moon at the far edge of the words,
And the bounty of birds,
And the immortal olive tree.
I walked this land before the swords
Turned its living body into a laden table.
I come from there. I render the sky unto her mother
When the sky weeps for her mother.
And I weep to make myself known
To a returning cloud.
I learnt all the words worthy of the court of blood
So that I could break the rule.
I learnt all the words and broke them up
To make a single word: Homeland…..
Poet: Mahmoud Darwish
1941 – 2008
Mahmoud Darwish was a poet and author and is regarded as the Palestinian national poet. His work, which often used Palestine as a metaphor for the downfall of Eden, resurrection and birth amid the anguish of dispossession and exile, has received numerous awards. Darwish, who is often described as ‘a man of action whose action is poetry’ also as an editor several literary magazines in Israel. He died three-days after heart surgery in Houston, Texas before which he had signed a document asking not to be resuscitated in the event of brain death.