Monday, August 11, 2008

The Death of Palestinian "National Poet" Mahmoud Darwish

"Darwish is the essential breath of the Palestinian people, the eloquent witness of exile and belonging." -Naomi Shihab Nye
(quoted in a Yahoo! News article on Darwish's death)

Mahmoud Darwish, once described as the Palestinian poet of exile, died Saturday (Aug. 9th) at the age of 67.

For access to his website, portions of his poetry, and an article on his life, take a look at Jewish Peace News: Mahmoud Darwish (I highly recommend that you do so).

Writer (and poet) Nathalie Handal writes:
On many occasions [Darwish] has expressed the notion that only poetry can bring harmony to a world devastated by war: "Against barbarity, poetry can resist only by confirming its attachment to human fragility like a blade of grass growing on a wall while armies march by," he has written. I ask him if he still believes that.

"I thought poetry could change everything, could change history and could humanize, and I think that the illusion is very necessary to push poets to be involved and to believe," he responds, "but now I think that poetry changes only the poet."

Darwish died an honored poet of peace and a man of hope.

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