Journal Article — Darwish and the Meaning of Palestine — by Leila Farsakh




Darwish’s poetry was a central part of what is to be a Palestinian and to be an Arab. By weaving the personal and the political, Darwish gave a voice to the Palestinian struggle for self determination, as much as to the human inner quest for love and survival. I grew up learning his poems, hearing them sung by famous Arab singers, repeated in worldwide demonstrations of solidarity with the Palestinian people. His departure left me, and a whole generation of Arabs, deeply bereaved for his death represented not simply the loss of a great poet, but also the necessity to re-question the meaning of Palestine. Darwish’s poetry reminds us that Palestine is exile as much as home, a struggle for political justice as much as for what it is to be a cosmopolitan citizen. It remains the quintessential human struggle for dignity, justice and humanity, globally as much as locally.

Recommended Citation

Farsakh, Leila. 2009. “Darwish and the Meaning of Palestine.” Pp. 101-104 in “If I touch the Depth of Your Heart … ” : The Human Promise of Poetry in Memories of Mahmoud Darwish (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume VII, Special Issue, 2009.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).

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