Journal Article — Darwish’s Essentialist Poetics in a State of Siege — by Patrick Sylvain




This article analyzes Darwish’s creative dissidence and proposes a literary anthropological mapping that exposes his own relative historicity–his truth about Israel’s occupation on the one hand, and his love for life and for his native land as a quintessentially locative human condition on the other. The existential echo that reverberates through Darwish’s language is a calling, a desire for home–home in the poetic corpus and home for the nation. Socio-critical analysis of Mahmoud Darwish’s poetics about his homeland requires that the corpus of his works be treated almost as a literary anthropological philosophy by relativizing it within the homo-historical and social literary contexts in which it was produced. My assessment of assigned categories onto Darwish’s poetic corpus is an interpretive ontological signifying in order to map his literary evolution as it pertains to the identified categories (1-Formative, 2-Sublime, 3-Global). This assessment is not presumptuous or exhaustive; it is a theoretical study that tries to situate Darwish’s poetic discourse within a socio-historical field and beyond the mere literary framework–a necessity given the broad scope of his works and philosophy.

Recommended Citation

Sylvain, Patrick. 2009. “Darwish’s Essentialist Poetics in a State of Siege.” Pp. 137-150 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).

Section url:

The various editions of “If I touch the Depth of Your Heart … ” : The Human Promise of Poetry in Memories of Mahmoud Darwish can be ordered from the Okcir Store and are available for ordering from all major online bookstores worldwide (such as Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and others).

Free-Access Okcir Library Reading



Today 0