To Our Land

By Mahmoud Darwish 1942–2008 Mahmoud Darwish

Translated By Fady Joudah

To our land,
and it is the one near the word of god,
a ceiling of clouds
To our land,
and it is the one far from the adjectives of nouns,
the map of absence
To our land,
and it is the one tiny as a sesame seed,
a heavenly horizon ... and a hidden chasm
To our land,
and it is the one poor as a grouse’s wings,
holy books ... and an identity wound
To our land,
and it is the one surrounded with torn hills,
the ambush of a new past
To our land, and it is a prize of war,
the freedom to die from longing and burning
and our land, in its bloodied night,
is a jewel that glimmers for the far upon the far
and illuminates what’s outside it ...
As for us, inside,
we suffocate more!

Mahmoud Darwish, "To Our Land" from The Butterfly’s Burden. Copyright © 2008 by Mahmoud Darwish, English translation by Fady Joudah.  Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press. www.coppercanyonpress.org

Source: The Butterfly’s Burden (Copper Canyon Press, 2007)

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Poet Mahmoud Darwish 1942–2008

POET’S REGION Middle East

Subjects Family & Ancestors, God & the Divine, History & Politics, Religion, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict

 Mahmoud  Darwish

Biography

Palestinian Mahmoud Darwish was born in al-Birwa in Galilee, a village that was occupied and later razed by the Israeli army. Because they had missed the official Israeli census, Darwish and his family were considered “internal refugees” or “present-absent aliens.” Darwish lived for many years in exile in Beirut and Paris. He is the author of over 30 books of poetry and eight books of prose, and earned the Lannan Cultural . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Family & Ancestors, God & the Divine, History & Politics, Religion, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict

POET’S REGION Middle East

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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