March 13: Mahmoud Darwish

Detail, Wool Felt by Lily S. May

The great poet, Mahmoud Darwish, was born on March 13 in Palestine. Different sources have dated his birth to both 1941 and ’42. He died in August 2008. At any rate, today I am celebrating his birth. His words have added more beauty to my life than I can adequately describe. 

From the book The Butterfly’s Burden, which holds English translations by Fady Joudah and the poems in their original Arabic, are these lines that I love:

Tell me how you lived your dream
in some place, and I’ll tell you who you are
–Mahmoud Darwish, ‘Now When You Awaken, Remember’


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