Friday, July 28, 2006

From the poem A Diary of a Palestinian Wound by Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish (my translation):
"I grew up along the wound,
and never asked my mother
what made her a tent at night
I have not misplaced my spring,
my address, and my name
Thus I saw in her dress
a million stars
My flag is black
And the port is a tomb
My back is an arch
O, the autumn of the world
which has collapsed in us
O, the spring of the world
that was born in us
my flower is red,
the port is open,
and my heart is a tree!
My language is the sound of the stream
in the river of storms
and the mirrors of the sun and wheat
in the arena of war
Maybe I erred in my
expressions sometimes
But I was--I am not ashamed
to say--splendid when I
substituted my heart for
the dictionary!"