GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- The world's most recognized Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish, delivered a stinging tirade against Palestinian infighting on Sunday in his first public appearance in decades in the Israeli city of Haifa.
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by Mahmoud Darwish
Translated by Fady Joudah
In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,
I walk from one epoch to another without a memory
to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing
the history of the holy . . . ascending to heaven
and returning less discouraged and melancholy, because love
and peace are holy and are coming to town.
I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How
do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?
Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?
(excerpt from poets.org) To view the entire poem click here.
For a collection of audio poems in English and Arabic by Darwish click here.
For the same news article about Darwish's recent public appearance in Haifa, click here for Haaretz coverage in Israel.
"Among the predominantly Arab-Israeli crowd that assembled to hear Darwish were Jews- some of whom didn't even speak Arabic and could not understand what was being said.If you can stomach it, the long list of hate comments following the article in Haaretz is quite an education in relentless bitterness and hatred.
Ilana Shahaf, who organizes an annual poetry festival in the Negev kibbutz of Sde Boker, said that she came to share in the Arab public's excitement. "I wanted to feel a stranger among the words. As I climbed up the stairs with the crowd, I felt really excited for them. After all, no Hebrew-speaking poet today can generate this kind of excitement," she explained."