This Post is a special “dedication” to those who are threatening me on the basis of my Pro-Palestinian attitude and engagement…
By Andry-Andreja Jakuš
THE GRANDE DAME OF PALESTINIAN LITERATURE
F A D W A
T U Q A N
Face Lost in the Wilderness
Do not fill postcards with memories
Between my heart and the luxury of passion
Stretches a desert where ropes of fire
Blaze and smolder, where snakes
Coil and recoil, swallowing blossoms
With poison and flame.
No! Don’t ask me to remember. Love’s memory
Is dark, the dream clouded;
Love is a lost phantom
In a wilderness night.
Friend, the night has slain the moon.
In the mirror of my heart you can find no shelter,
Only my country’s disfigured face,
Her face, lovely and mutilated,
Her precious face…
How did the world revolve in this way?
Our love was young. Did it grow in this horror?
In the night of defeat, black waters
Covered my land, blood on the walls
Was the only bouquet.
I hallucinated: “Open your breast,
Open your mother’s breast for an embrace
Priceless are the offerings!”
The jungle beast was toasting in the
Tavern of crime; winds of misfortune
Howled in the four corners.
He was with me that day.
I didn’t realize morning
Would remove him.
Our smiles cheated sorrow
As I raved: “Beloved stranger!
Why did my country become a gateway?
To hell? Since when are apples bitter?
When did moonlight stop bathing orchards?
My people used to plant fields and love life
Joyfully they dipped their bread in oil
Fruits and flowers tinted the land
With magnificent hues –
Will the seasons ever again
Give their gifts to my people?”
Sorrow – Jerusalem’s night is silence and smoke.
They imposed a curfew; now nothing beats in the
Heart of the City but their bloodied heels
Under which Jerusalem trembles
Like a raped girl.
Two shadows from a balcony stared down at the City’s night. In the corner a suitcase of clothes,
Souvenirs from the Holy Land –
His blue eyes stretched like sad lakes.
He loved Jerusalem. She was his mystical lover.
On and on I ranted, “Ah, love! Why did God abandon
My country? Imprisoning light, leaving us
In seas of darkness?”
The world was a mythical dragon standing
At her gate. “Who will ever solve this mystery?
Beloved, the secret of these words?”
Now twenty moons have passed,
Twenty moons, and my life continues.
Your absence too continues. Only one memory remaining:
The face of my stricken country filling my heart.
And my life continues –
The wind merges me with my people
On the terrible road of rocks and thorns.
But behind the river, dark forests of spears
Sway and swell; the roaring storm
Unravels mystery, giving to dragon-silence
The power of words.
A rush and din, flame and sparks
Lighting the road –
One group after another
Falls embracing, in one lofty death.
THE NIGHT, NO MATTER HOW LONG, WILL CONTINUE
TO GIVE BIRTH TO THE STAR AFTER STAR,
And my life continues,
My life continues.
MY LOVE FOR PALESTINE
This committed verse is a poetry which is related to a specific political situation. This poetry is not a fanciful product of the writer’s imagination, but arises up from a concrete circumstance.
Palestinian poets, like Fadwa Tuqan, mentions “the occupier”, “the pain”, “blood”, “wounds,” all of which have the objective reality in the historical experience of the Palestinian: Expulsion and Exile from his homeland are central experiences that prompted much of the poetry considered in my post series “VOICES UP HIGH FOR PALESTINE.”
Mentioning “flowers”, “dawn”, and the “rose” (all symbolical): here she goes beyond a description of the present TRAUMA, envisaging sequence.
The political ideal that occurs most frequently in committed poetry is the return of the dispossessed Palestinian people to their historical and spiritual homeland.
In every line that Fadwa created, out of ashes and destruction, her poetry creates, phoenix-like, a new vision of the future. New demands and new returns.
“We lift our songs out
Of your tormented molten heart
And under cover of darkness and gloom
We soak them in light and frankincense,
In love and vows,
And we inspire them with strength of granite and of rocks;
Then we place them back into your pure,
Your crystal-clear heart,
OUR STRUGGLING PATIENT HOMELAND
Committed poetry awakens the community’s sense of its cohesive values.
The WE is more frequent than the I
The committed poet, imbued with a spirit of collectivity, is in the forefront of his beloved compatriots.
Individuality is submerged in the group identity.
A substantial part of a committed poetry has a prophetic-like quality.
Andry-Andreja Jakus, a Professor at Hacettepe University, Zagreb, Croatia, is Academic Writer, Bibliographer, Lexicographer, Translator, Language Tutor and Reviewer. In her columns, she writes on poetry, philosophy, cultural studies, history of religions etc.
Courtesy: LinkedIn – Published with permission of the author