Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Darwish therapy: A State of Siege

As I try to come to terms once again with what is happening in Gaza, I came across another fabulous poem by my favorite Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish, who so eloquently can put to words the feelings we all have as Palestinians, which boil inside of us, sometimes never finding an audience or outlet, sometimes drowning us with their complexity and force and unrequitedness. It was fwded around by Palestinian artist Emily Jacir.

The siege is lying in wait.
It is lying in wait on a tilted stairway
in the midst of a storm.

We are alone. We are alone to the point
of drunkenness with our own aloneness,
with the occasional rainbow visiting.

We have brothers and sisters overseas..
kind sisters, who love us..
who look our way and weep.
And secretly they say
"I wish that siege was here, so that I couldŠ"
But they cannot finish the sentence.
Do not leave us alone. No.
Do not leave us alone.

Our losses are between two and eight a day.
And ten are wounded.
Twenty homes are gone.
Forty olive groves destroyed,
in addition to the structural damage
afflicting the veins of the poem, the play,
and the unfinished painting.

(Mahmud Darwish, A State of Siege, 2002, translated by Ramsis Amun)


Blogger ياسمين حميد said...

الحصارُ هُوَ الانتظار
هُوَ الانتظارُ على سُلَّمٍ مائلٍ وَسَطَ العاصفةْ

وَحيدونَ، نحن وحيدون حتى الثُمالةِ
لولا زياراتُ قَوْسِ قُزَحْ

لنا اخوةٌ خلف هذا المدى.
اخوةٌ طيّبون. يُحبُّوننا. ينظرون إلينا ويبكون.
ثم يقولون في سرِّهم:
ليت هذا الحصارَ هنا علنيٌّ.. ولا يكملون العبارةَ:
لا تتركونا وحيدين، لا تتركونا.

خسائرُنا: من شهيدين حتى ثمانيةٍ كُلَّ يومٍ.
وعَشْرَةُ جرحى.
وعشرون بيتاً.
وخمسون زيتونةً...
بالإضافة للخَلَل البُنْيويّ الذي
سيصيب القصيدةَ والمسرحيَّةَ واللوحة الناقصةْ


3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only enough people on both sides had accepted the realities on the ground and stopped this bloodshed.

Israel will have to give up Gaza. It's a fact.
Israel will have to give back most of the West Bank. It's a fact.

Israel Can't give up the western wall. It's a fact.
Israel can't allow refugees to come back. It's a fact.

Writing is nice, writing happens on both sides. Writing has been happening for many years.

What we really need to have is huge peaceful demonstrations on both sides! Calling for peace.

11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Laila,
I am proud that a beautiful young Arab woman can stand up and express herself so poetically, fight so courageously in the face of injustice.
Hopefully, we will have a chance to meet face to face one day in Canada.
from Q

1:17 AM  
Blogger Torontoman said...

Thanks for putting up the video from Biliin, I've started sharing it with some people, and it's beginning to turn heads. If you have any other links like these, please post them. When people see the carnage, they begin to re-evaluate the issue. Thanks again.

3:53 AM  
Blogger Assad-u-LLAH said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the "Palestinians" that don't exist. There has never been a "Palestinian" country, people, language, culture. It's all a myth created by the Arabs to steal the Jewish homeland.
Israel was re-named Palestine by the Romans and has no Arab connection. Jews were the first to be called Palestinians.
Israel is REAL unlike the Arab phony "Palestinians" who are as real as the tooth fairy.

7:52 AM  
Blogger Lynn said...

I came to comments to tell you I am thinking alot about you today. As a Canadian we will honour our dead and veterains on Saturday with two minutes of silence. Yet I see in comments above me a siniscism that is the same rage that feeds the war that brutalizes those in Gaza. I do not agree with war at all, but I could never generalize and paint every Jew with the same brush. As I would not condemn ever Afghan because my men risk their lives, and their friends have died in a mission of aid. The kind of hate above me breeds war. It is too bad that kindness and love are not stong enough to defeat the kind of hate above me.

5:16 PM  
Blogger D.B. said...

The difference:
The Palestinians try their best to hit civilian targets and claim success when they kill innocent people.
The Israelis try their best to hit military/terrorist targets and acknowledge failure when they kill innocent people.

12:11 AM  
Blogger Assad-u-LLAH said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my puter piggie joo boy is part joo piggie :)

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Revelation 2:9
I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
Revelation 2:8-10 (in Context) Revelation 2 (Whole Chapter)
Revelation 3:9
Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Amelopsis said...

All the religious talk in the world means nothing and furthers nothing but hatred.

If we cannot see all humans as equally human, then all is lost.

Laila makes this point very concisely with her postscript to the sad but beautiful poem.

(and AMD is better for your conscience!)

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Laila
I have realy enjoyed ur blog
interested in ur writings and choices ..

7:29 PM  

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