Saturday, May 15, 2004

May 15th, 1948: Birth of Israel. May 15th, 1948: Destruction of Palestine.
My translation of Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish's poem titled, Passport:
"They could not recognize me from the shadows that
absorb my color in the passport,
My wound was exposed for them,
to a tourist who loves to collect pictures,
They could not recognize me, Oh, do not leave
my hand without a sun,
because the trees know me...
and so do all the songs of rain,
Do not leave me pale like rain.
All the birds that
chased my hand at the gate of the distant airport,
all the meadows of wheat,
all the prisons..
all the white tombs,
all the borders...
all the handkerchiefs that waved,
all the eyes,
were with me, but they excluded them
from the passport!
Naked without a name, without identity?
On a soil that I raised with those hands?
Job yelled today toward the sky:
Do not make me a lesson twice!
Oh, gentlemen,
Oh, gentlemen, the Prophets
Do not ask the trees for their names
Do not ask the valleys about their mothers,
from my forehead, the sword of light is split
and from my hand, the water of the river springs,
My nationality resides in the hearts of all the people,
so go ahead and remove my passport!