palestinian poetry

Poetry Of Palestine – Salma Khadra Jayyusi #palestine #gazaunderattack #poetry

Unable to help in any way, only to celebrate Palestinian literature.

Professor of Arabic literature Salma Khadra Jayyusi is a Palestinian poet, critic, and anthologist. Born in Salt in East Jordan, she spent her childhood in Acre and Jerusalem.   She has travelled and lived in many places in the Middle East, Europe, and the US and has taught at the Universities of Khartoum, Algiers, and Constantine, and in America at the Universities of Utah, Washington, and Texas. She is the founder and director of the Project of Translation from Arabic (PROTA), which aims to provide translations of Arabic literature into English.Her first collection, Return from the Dreamy Fountain, was published in 1960.  Translated by the author and Charles Doria, this is:

APRIL WOMAN

Poem to My Son

I am an April woman:
December ash that consumes itself
frightens me

My son, hide me while you rocket to the stars
spreading over the earth like grass
Winter thunderstorm will drink down
my river flowing with love’s secrets,
muffling that music in whose echoes
you were born.
But you shrug your shoulders:
“This woman is planted in time
she bridges the air like a dove
a thousand years old.
She is a willow, I know her:
bend her -she springs back
She is a palm tree, I know her
pick her fruit -she makes more
honey and dates
She is a cypress tree, I know her
she never loses her leaves
What do December storms mean to her?”

Yet the winter winds do howl, my son,
night and day I yearn for you
for your sweet sarcastic voice
your voice wise and cruel, innocent and selfish.

Night and day I miss you
We both live in space, in the wind and the rain
Each of us drinks his own wine
each of us is poured in his own glass
for you were made of my elements.

I gave you:
my impetuous soul
my constant disappearance
flitting far away across the world
my chronic elusiveness
a will like rock, loyal
as the true stars
in the sky’s valleys.
And I gave you:
love’s ecstasy
the will to conquer
passionate devotion
and the enchantment of the spirit
in the presence of holy fire.

Should I blame you?

And you gave me:
a promise and pledge
security forever delayed
love that’s here and is never here
Should you blame me?
I am a wild gazelle
you are rock
My head is bloodied.

Translated by the author and Charles Doria

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Poetry Of Palestine – Ibtisam Barakat #palestine #gazaunderattack #poetry

Acclaimed Palestinian-American author, poet, translator, artist and educator, Ibtisam Barakat ابتسام بركات  grew up in Ramallah, Palestine, and came to the US for an internship in 1986.  She holds two Masters degrees, and has taught Language Ethics at Stephens College.  Barakat’s memoir, TASTING THE SKY: A Palestinian Childhood (2007) won many awards and honours, including the International Reading Association’s Best Non-Fiction for Young Adults; Middle East Council Best Literature Book; and Arab-American National Best Book for YA and Children.

 

A Poem Made Of Water

By Ibtisam Barakat

 

The biology teacher said that

people, all people, are made

mostly of water ..

And I understood that

all of us, like water,

have been through so much;

fell from the sky ..

spent nights in the middle

of a dark ocean ..

cleaned dirt out of clothes

and dishes of all kinds ..

had to freeze in winters

and simmer under covers,

and be put in cubes and 

hit countless times

on kitchen counters ..

and I understood why

when someone’s tears fall

I feel …

 

 

Poetry of Palestine

I don’t know how to help the people of Gaza. All I can do is celebrate their great writers and beautiful poetry.

 Considered Palestine’s most eminent poet, Mahmoud Darwish was born in Al-Birweh in 1941. He published his first collection of poems Leaves Of Olives in 1964.  Other collections include The Adam Of Two Edens, 2001; Stage Of Siege, 2002 and The Butterfly’s Burden 2006. His awards and honors include the Ibn Sina Prize, the Lenin Peace Prize, and France’s Knight of Arts and Belles Lettres medal in 1997. He died in 2008.  

I BELONG THERE

By 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: Home.