I Come From There
A poem by Mahmoud Darwish
I come from there and I have memories
Born as mortals are, I have a mother
And a house with many windows,
I have brothers, friends,
And a prison cell with a cold window.
Mine is the wave, snatched by sea-gulls,
I have my own view,
And an extra blade of grass.
Mine is the moon at the far edge of the words,
And the bounty of birds,
And the immortal olive tree.
I walked this land before the swords
Turned its living body into a laden table.
I come from there. I render the sky unto her mother
When the sky weeps for her mother.
And I weep to make myself known
To a returning cloud.
I learnt all the words worthy of the court of blood
So that I could break the rule.
I learnt all the words and broke them up
To make a single word: Homeland.....
(*) Mahmoud Darwish is a contemporary Palestinian poet and writer of prose. He has published over thirty volumes of poetry, eight books of prose and has served as the editor of several publications, including: Al-Jadid, Al-Fajr, Shu'un Filistiniyya and Al-Karmel. He is recognized internationally for his poetry, which focuses on his strong affection for his lost homeland. His work has won numerous awards, and has been published in at least twenty-two languages. The majority of his work has not been translated into English.
In the 1960s, Darwish joined the official Communist Party of Israel, the Rakah, but he is better known for his active work within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Once a member of PLO Executive Committee, he resigned from the Committee and broke with the PLO in 1993 to protest the continuation of the Oslo Accords.
Visit Mahmoud Darwish's official website : www.mahmouddarwish.com/english/index.htm
--> The poem appeared on www.stationmuseum.com/