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Mahmoud Darwish

Mahmoud Darwish is Palestine’s most eminent poet. The Adam of Two Edens, a selection of work translated into English is available from Syracuse University Press.

Poem: ‘I Remember al-Sayyab’

Mahmoud Darwish, translated by Taline Voskeritchian and Christopher Millis, 24 June 2004

I remember al-Sayyab,* his futile cries across the Gulf: ‘Iraq, Iraq, nothing but Iraq,’ And nothing answers but an echo. I remember al-Sayyab under these same Sumerian skies Where a woman surmounted the void To make us heirs to earth and exile. I remember al-Sayyab . . . Poetry is born in Iraq, So belong to Iraq – become a poet, my friend! I remember al-Sayyab did not find...

Poem: ‘Requiem for Mohammad Al-Dura’

Mahmoud Darwish, translated by Tania Tamari Nasir, 30 November 2000

Nestled in his father’s arms, a bird afraid of the hell above him, Mohammad prays: Father, protect me from flying. My wing is weak against the wind, and the light is black.

Mohammad wants to go home, without a bicycle, without a new shirt. He wants his school desk and his book of grammar. Take me home, father, so I can finish my homework and complete my years slowly, slowly on the...

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