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February 15, 2006

Identity Card - Poem

Identity Card
Mahmoud Darwish, 1964

Write down!
I am an Arab
And my identity card number is fifty thousand
I have eight children
And the ninth will come after a summer
Will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
Employed with fellow workers at a quarry
I have eight children
I get them bread
Garments and books
from the rocks…
I do not supplicate charity at your doors
Nor do I belittle myself at the footsteps of your chamber
So will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
I have a name without a title
Patient in a country
Where people are enraged
My roots
Were entrenched before the birth of time
And before the opening of the eras
Before the pines, and the olive trees
And before the grass grew

My father…descends from the family of the plow
Not from a privileged class
And my grandfather…was a farmer
Neither well-bred, nor well-born!
Teaches me the pride of the sun
Before teaching me how to read
And my house is like a watchman's hut
Made of branches and cane
Are you satisfied with my status?
I have a name without a title!

Write down!
I am an Arab
You have stolen the orchards of my
ancestors
And the land which I cultivated
Along with my children
And you left nothing for us
Except for these rocks…
So will the State take them
As it has been said?!

Therefore!
Write down on the top of the first page:
I do not hate people
Nor do I encroach
But if I become hungry
The usurper's flesh will be my food
Beware…
Beware…
Of my hunger
And my anger!

Mahmoud Darwish joined the Communist Party of Israel as a teen. From 1970 to 1993 was a member of the executive committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
- Comments

1 comment:

  1. __ You’re invited to view my latest video “684”__ a collection of some short poems. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QQVtsjdiDw )

    ReplyDelete

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