RIP Mahmud Darwish
Palestine lost one of its greatest sons yesterday, and it is not just Palestinians who mourn the loss of the iconic Mahmud Darwish. His words touched the consciousness of Palestinians and non-Palestinians alike the world over. He was imbued with the ability to stir our emotions, evoking tears and smiles, hope and fear, belonging and displacement, all at once-putting to words what every Palestinian felt, defining us at different moment as a nation. In so doing, he transcended the status of a mere "poet" or artist or even activist. Below is one of my favorite and oft quoted of his poems. Rest in Peace, poet of a nation and their struggle.
The Earth is closing on us
pushing us through the last passage
and we tear off our limbs to pass through.
The Earth is squeezing us.
I wish we were its wheat
so we could die and live again.
I wish the Earth was our mother
so she'd be kind to us.
I wish we were pictures on the rocks
for our dreams to carry as mirrors.
We saw the faces of those who will throw
our children out of the window of this last space.
Our star will hang up mirrors.
Where should we go after the last frontiers?
Where should the birds fly after the last sky?
Where should the plants sleep after the last breath of air?
We will write our names with scarlet steam.
We will cut off the hand of the song to be finished by our flesh.
We will die here, here in the last passage.
Here and here our blood will plant its olive tree.
- Mahmoud Darwish