Mahmoud Darwish is dead, but the voice of the Palestinian resistance will live on in all of us
The Guardian, Tuesday August 12 2008
"......He was seven when - in the Nakba of 1948 - he fled from Birweh, his village in the Galilee. At the age of 12, living in Deir el-Asad, in what had become Israel, with a reputation as a precocious child poet, he was asked to compose a poem for a public reading. The occasion was the celebration of Israel's "Independence Day" and the poem he read described the feelings of a child who returns to his town to find other people sleeping in his bed, tilling his father's lands. He was summoned to the military governor who told him that if he continued to write subversive material his father's work permit would be revoked. That incident set the tone, I think, for Darwish's life.........
Darwish ended his address to the Palestine Festival with the words: "Know that we are still here; that we live." Obituaries in the Arab newspapers are mourning the last poet who could fill a football stadium. But Darwish lives in us and in his poetry. He lives also in the work of younger Arab poets who will soon be filling football stadiums. They are his disciples. And they are still here."