To Mahmoud Darwish

Introduction: He disturbed me, because he forced me to examine the reasons behind my hatred of my Chinese name (Ka Hon).

Mahmoud, Mahmoud,

Exile, separation and divorce,

You witnessed them at all,

Persecution, violence, killings,

You felt all.

Remained true to yourself, true to the little voice in your heart,

Loyal to your friends from the first day,

Loyal to justice, peace, fairness and statehood,

Loyal to people living in cages,

Help your people, be them living in London, New York and Paris, remember who they are,

Help them remember where their real homes are.

Mahmoud, Mahmoud,

Never compromise,

“ Why do you call yourself Jonathan?” still hangs my heart.

“ Why do you call yourself Jonathan? Why call yourself Jonathan? How come…How come…”

Yes, I hate my name,

Yes, I hate my name!

Yes, I have been polluted,

Yes, I have no power to change myself.

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2 Comments

  1. Oslo Arab
    Posted September 20, 2008 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Funny how everyone wants a peace of Mahmoud Darwish’s legacy and to bask in the shadow of his greatness including those who never read one line of poetry, or those who never read his poetry.

    Darwish brings out the contraditioncs in the Arab elites.

    Most of them insist Darwish was a peace poet but ignore or don’t even know that the man personified the starving artist because he was a resistance poet who suffered greatly for his rejection of the Oslo “peace” Accord.

    Mahmoud was never one of us, the grey people, the cynical hordes. Mahmoud Darwish was one of them, the downtrodden, the principled, the Godlike.

  2. a.m.d.
    Posted September 21, 2008 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Ya man, you GET it! The downtrodden are the only principled people? Original! I hope you’re counting yourself as among “the elites” if you’re really in Oslo.

    Turning a thing of beauty into something crassly political is something “elites” like to do a lot.

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