Mahmoud Darwish at Bethlehem University, (2006).
|Native name||Ù…ØÙ…ÙˆØ¯ Ø¯Ø±ÙˆÙŠØ´|
|Born||13 March 1941
al-Birwa, British Mandate of Palestine
|Died||9 August 2008
Houston, Texas, United States
|Occupation||Poet and writer|
The Palestinians are the only nation in the world that feels with certainty that today is better than what the days ahead will hold. Tomorrow always heralds a worse situation.
Sarcasm helps me overcome the harshness of the reality we live, eases the pain of scars and makes people smile.
Sometimes I feel as if I am read before I write. When I write a poem about my mother, Palestinians think my mother is a symbol for Palestine. But I write as a poet, and my mother is my mother. She's not a symbol.
Exile is more than a geographical concept. You can be an exile in your homeland, in your own house, in a room.
I am not a lover of Israel, of course. I have no reason to be. But I don't hate Jews.
A person can only be born in one place. However, he may die several times elsewhere: in the exiles and prisons, and in a homeland transformed by the occupation and oppression into a nightmare.
I don't decide to represent anything except myself. But that self is full of collective memory.
The importance of poetry is not measured, finally, by what the poet says but by how he says it.
The Arabs are ready to accept a strong Israel with nuclear arms – all it has to do is open the gates of its fortress and make peace.
I've built my homeland, I've even founded my state – in my language.
To be under occupation, to be under siege, is not a good inspiration for poetry.
I believe in the power of poetry, which gives me reasons to look ahead and identify a glint of light.
When a writer declares that his first book is his best, that is bad. I progress successively from book to book.
Poetry and beauty are always making peace. When you read something beautiful you find coexistence; it breaks walls down.
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.
Some people ask, 'How do you attract the young and so many different people when your poetry is complicated and different?' I say, 'My accomplishment is that my readers trust me and accept my suggestions for change.'
For the Arabs in Israel there is always a tension between nationality and identity.