Palestinian Poetry for Youm al-Ard, Day of the Land

From the blog "A Voice from Palestine"

Today on Jadaliyya, Sinan Antoon has published translations of two Rashid Hussein poems to mark Youm al-Ard, or Palestinian Land Day.

The day commemorates a 1976 strike against Israeli appropriation of land, in which six Palestinians were shot and killed by the Israeli military.

Antoon has translated Hussein’s “With the Land” and “Without a Passport.”

From “Without a Passport”:

So I raised a country
a sun
and wheat
in every house
I tended to the trees therein
I learned how to write poetry
to make the people of my village happy
without a passport

The blog “A Ticket to Peace” also recently published an excerpt of Tawfiq Ziad’s “Here We Will Stay,” translated by Sharif Elmusa and Charles Doria. And the website jannah.org has a rough (uncredited) translation of Tamim Barghouti’s “Fil-Quds” or “In Jerusalem.” It opens:

By our lover’s house we passed but we were turned away…
By the enemy’s laws and walls
A blessing it could be for me I said…
When you see it, what do you see?
What you cannot bear is what you see…

Keep reading…

And, of course, Mahmoud Darwish’s “To Our Land,” trans. Fady Joudah:

To Our Land

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!

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