ONV had written about an expatriate malayali breaking into tears when he saw a cassia fistula infront of a consulate in an arab kingdom. Neruda wrote that a poet’s responsibility is to take sound of the sea to those prisoners in their cells who cannot hear the ocean. Mahmoud Darwish is that one poet who wrote about those people who were both expatriates and prisoners in their own land. Who learned and dismantled all the words in order to draw from them a single word: Home.


On an afterthought isn’t that what we all do.

More from Mahmoud Darwish,

I belong there. I have many memories. I was born as everyone is born.
I have a mother, a house with many windows, brothers, friends, and a prison cell
with a chilly window! I have a wave snatched by seagulls, a panorama of my own.
I have a saturated meadow. In the deep horizon of my word, I have a moon,
a bird’s sustenance, and an immortal olive tree.
I have lived on the land long before swords turned man into prey.
I belong there. When heaven mourns for her mother, I return heaven to her mother.
And I cry so that a returning cloud might carry my tears.
To break the rules, I have learned all the words needed for a trial by blood.
I have learned and dismantled all the words in order to draw from them a single word:

Despite the suffering he asks his people, whats the point in the struggle? if it is moving, along with the days, towards the same destiny? (which awaits all mankind)

The prisoner, eager to inherit the prison, hid his smile of victory from the camera. But he did not succeed in restraining the happiness streaming from his eyes; perhaps because the rushed text was much stronger than the actor. Why do we need Narcissus, as long as we’re Palestinians, and as long as we don’t know the difference between the Jame’ (mosque) and the Jame’ah (university), both words having the same root. What need to we have for a state”¦ as long as it is moving, along with the days, towards the same destiny?

Was it inevitable for us to fall from such heights, and see our blood on our hands”¦ for us to realize that we are no angels”¦ as we used to think? Was it also necessary for us to expose our genitals to everyone, to make sure our reality is no longer a virgin? Such liars were we when we said: We are exceptional!

To believe yourself is much worse than lying to someone else! To be friendly with those who hate us, and ruthless to those who love us ““ this is the inferiority of the conceited, and the arrogance of the situation!

Oh past, do not change us”¦ the further away we move from you! Oh future: do not ask us: who are you? And what do you want from me? We too have no clue. Oh present, bear with us a little, we are no more than dreary passers by!

Today he is a thought,

One day I shall become what I want.
One day I shall become a thought,
Which no sword will carry
To the wasteland, nor no book;
as if it were rain falling on a mountain
split by a burgeoning blade of grass, where neither has power won nor fugitive justice.
One day I shall become a bird,
And wrest my being from my non-being.
The longer my wings will burn,
The closer I am to the truth,
Risen from the ashes.