Monday, February 12, 2007

A Poem by Mahmoud Darwish


Today, the twenty sixth of July, twenty one murdered/martyred in Gaza, among them two newborns, were able to bypass the military checkpoints and the barbed wires . . . and they snuck into the news hour. They did not make a comment, because pain fell from them before they could reach the word. And they did not state their names that are so poor and ordinary. And they did not raise their arms in victory sign to the camera, since the camera was crammed with more thrilling images. War is excitement, a series where the new episode obliterates the previous one, a massacre copying another. And when death becomes daily it becomes ordinary and the murdered become numbers, and death routine, the temperature not higher than thirty degrees Celsius. Routine causes boredom. And boredom distances the viewer from the screen, and prohibits the correspondent from doing his work. And when the viewers become fewer, the commercials dry up and the image industry goes bust. Not to mention the sites in Gaza have become familiar, their connotation weakened: a leaden sky over narrow alleys in camps that don't overlook the sea. No hill there, no natural scenes to please the viewer. Everything is ordinary. Murder is ordinary and the funeral is ordinary and the streets are ashen. But what is extraordinary today: twenty one murdered/martyred were able to courageously infiltrate, without the help of informants, the evening news.

Mahmoud Darwish .

I was webwandering and found this over on Margaret's Wanderings blog.

Thanks Margaret.


Margaret said...

His work really speaks to me. Mahmoud Darwish is an amazing writer. Did you read the other pieces on the Poets Against War site?
I'm so happy that he inspired you too. Sad at the same time that the subject matter has to be war. He strikes a good balance, I think. Is critical and wants the war to cease but is still appreciating life somehow despite it all through his gift and his work. I wish we didn't have to strike balances with war.

woman wandering said...

I printed off his other poems ... I loved them. Adrienne Rich is an old favourite of mine and I enjoyed her essay there.

Margaret said...

I like Adrienne Rich too.