Sunday, August 10, 2008

Palestinian Poet Mahmoud Darwish - RIP

We are so sorry...and sorrier still that we could not see eye-to-eye on matters political, quite often, especially of late. Still, he was a poet of immense talent & courage; he took his duty to his fellow exiles very seriously. No poetry about or connected to Palestine & Israel--especially with regard to Jerusalem & the Galilee (where he was born)--can be discussed without Darwish's profound contribution. Below is the statement on his website today. More as the funeral approaches; he will be buried in Ramallah. Ha'aretz newspaper has published an obituary that can be accessed here. Poet Carolyn Forché's anthology Against Forgetting: Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness included Darwish in the War in the Middle East section, along with Adonis, Amichai, & others.

Mahmoud Darwish…

in the presence of Absence

Mahmoud Darwish has quietly left us on Saturday 9 August 2008 after 67 years of a life jumping from one peak to another, rising higher every time, transcending his own successes. He was a beautiful human being, able to see what no one else can see: in life, politics, and even people, expressing his visions in a language that seems to be made only for him to write with. When he decided to take on this difficult surgery we thought that he can beat death, like he did several times before… but he, it seems, with his prophetic insight, could clearly see his “ghost coming from afar”.

He wanted to surprise death rather than wait for the “time bomb” that was his artery to explode unannounced… he went prepared, as he always is, leaving us behind to “nurture hope”.