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Best Famous Mahmoud Darwish Poems

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by Mahmoud Darwish |

Psalm 9

 O rose beyond the reach of time and of the senses
O kiss enveloped in the scarves of all the winds
surprise me with one dream 
that my madness will recoil from you 
Recoiling from you
In order to approach you 
I discovered time
Approaching you
in order to recoil form you
I discovered my senses
Between approach and recoil
there is a stone the size of a dream
It does not approach
It does not recoil
You are my country
A stone is not what I am 
therefor I do not like to face the sky 
not do I die level with the ground
but I am a stranger, always a stranger

by Mahmoud Darwish |

Under Siege

 Here on the slopes of hills, facing the dusk and the cannon of time 
Close to the gardens of broken shadows, 
We do what prisoners do, 
And what the jobless do: 
We cultivate hope. 

A country preparing for dawn. We grow less intelligent 
For we closely watch the hour of victory: 
No night in our night lit up by the shelling 
Our enemies are watchful and light the light for us 
In the darkness of cellars. 

Here there is no "I". 
Here Adam remembers the dust of his clay. 

On the verge of death, he says: 
I have no trace left to lose:
Free I am so close to my liberty. My future lies in my own hand. 
Soon I shall penetrate my life, 
I shall be born free and parentless, 
And as my name I shall choose azure letters... 

You who stand in the doorway, come in, 
Drink Arabic coffee with us 
And you will sense that you are men like us 
You who stand in the doorways of houses 
Come out of our morningtimes, 
We shall feel reassured to be 
Men like you! 

When the planes disappear, the white, white doves 
Fly off and wash the cheeks of heaven 
With unbound wings taking radiance back again, taking possession 
Of the ether and of play. Higher, higher still, the white, white doves 
Fly off. Ah, if only the sky 
Were real [a man passing between two bombs said to me]. 

Cypresses behind the soldiers, minarets protecting 
The sky from collapse. Behind the hedge of steel 
Soldiers piss—under the watchful eye of a tank— 
And the autumnal day ends its golden wandering in 
A street as wide as a church after Sunday mass... 

[To a killer] If you had contemplated the victim’s face 
And thought it through, you would have remembered your mother in the 
Gas chamber, you would have been freed from the reason for the rifle 
And you would have changed your mind: this is not the way 
to find one’s identity again. 

The siege is a waiting period 
Waiting on the tilted ladder in the middle of the storm. 

Alone, we are alone as far down as the sediment 
Were it not for the visits of the rainbows. 

We have brothers behind this expanse. 
Excellent brothers. They love us. They watch us and weep. 
Then, in secret, they tell each other: 
"Ah! if this siege had been declared..." They do not finish their sentence: 
"Don’t abandon us, don’t leave us." 

Our losses: between two and eight martyrs each day. 
And ten wounded. 
And twenty homes. 
And fifty olive trees... 
Added to this the structural flaw that 
Will arrive at the poem, the play, and the unfinished canvas. 

A woman told the cloud: cover my beloved 
For my clothing is drenched with his blood. 

If you are not rain, my love 
Be tree 
Sated with fertility, be tree 
If you are not tree, my love 
Be stone 
Saturated with humidity, be stone 
If you are not stone, my love 
Be moon 
In the dream of the beloved woman, be moon 
[So spoke a woman 
to her son at his funeral] 

Oh watchmen! Are you not weary 
Of lying in wait for the light in our salt 
And of the incandescence of the rose in our wound 
Are you not weary, oh watchmen? 


A little of this absolute and blue infinity 
Would be enough 
To lighten the burden of these times 
And to cleanse the mire of this place. 

It is up to the soul to come down from its mount 
And on its silken feet walk 
By my side, hand in hand, like two longtime 
Friends who share the ancient bread 
And the antique glass of wine 
May we walk this road together 
And then our days will take different directions: 
I, beyond nature, which in turn 
Will choose to squat on a high-up rock. 

On my rubble the shadow grows green, 
And the wolf is dozing on the skin of my goat 
He dreams as I do, as the angel does 
That life is here...not over there. 

In the state of siege, time becomes space 
Transfixed in its eternity 
In the state of siege, space becomes time 
That has missed its yesterday and its tomorrow. 

The martyr encircles me every time I live a new day 
And questions me: Where were you? Take every word 
You have given me back to the dictionaries 
And relieve the sleepers from the echo’s buzz. 

The martyr enlightens me: beyond the expanse 
I did not look 
For the virgins of immortality for I love life 
On earth, amid fig trees and pines, 
But I cannot reach it, and then, too, I took aim at it 
With my last possession: the blood in the body of azure. 

The martyr warned me: Do not believe their ululations 
Believe my father when, weeping, he looks at my photograph 
How did we trade roles, my son, how did you precede me. 
I first, I the first one! 

The martyr encircles me: my place and my crude furniture are all that I have changed. 
I put a gazelle on my bed, 
And a crescent of moon on my finger 
To appease my sorrow. 

The siege will last in order to convince us we must choose an enslavement that does no harm, in fullest liberty! 

Resisting means assuring oneself of the heart’s health, 
The health of the testicles and of your tenacious disease: 
The disease of hope. 

And in what remains of the dawn, I walk toward my exterior 
And in what remains of the night, I hear the sound of footsteps inside me. 

Greetings to the one who shares with me an attention to 
The drunkenness of light, the light of the butterfly, in the 
Blackness of this tunnel! 

Greetings to the one who shares my glass with me 
In the denseness of a night outflanking the two spaces: 
Greetings to my apparition. 

My friends are always preparing a farewell feast for me, 
A soothing grave in the shade of oak trees 
A marble epitaph of time 
And always I anticipate them at the funeral: 
Who then has died...who? 

Writing is a puppy biting nothingness 
Writing wounds without a trace of blood. 

Our cups of coffee. Birds green trees 
In the blue shade, the sun gambols from one wall 
To another like a gazelle 
The water in the clouds has the unlimited shape of what is left to us 
Of the sky. And other things of suspended memories 
Reveal that this morning is powerful and splendid, 
And that we are the guests of eternity.

by Mahmoud Darwish |

Rita And The Rifle

 Between Rita and my eyes
There is a rifle
And whoever knows Rita
Kneels and plays
To the divinity in those honey-colored eyes
And I kissed Rita
When she was young
And I remember how she approached
And how my arm covered the loveliest of braids
And I remember Rita
The way a sparrow remembers its stream 
Ah, Rita
Between us there are a million sparrows and images 
And many a rendezvous
Fired at by a rifle

Rita's name was a feast in my mouth
Rita's body was a wedding in my blood
And I was lost in Rita for two years
And for two years she slept on my arm
And we made promises
Over the most beautiful of cups
And we burned in the wine of our lips
And we were born again

Ah, Rita!
What before this rifle could have turned my eyes from yours
Except a nap or two or honey-colored clouds?
Once upon a time
Oh, the silence of dusk
In the morning my moon migrated to a far place
Towards those honey-colored eyes
And the city swept away all the singers
And Rita

Between Rita and my eyes—
A rifle

by Mahmoud Darwish |

A Lover From Palestine

 Her eyes are Palestinian
Her name is Palestinian
Her dress and sorrow Palestinian
Her kerchief, her feet and body Palestinian
Her words and silence Palestinian
Her voice Palestinian
Her birth and her death Palestinian

by Mahmoud Darwish |

I Am There

 I come from there and remember,
I was born like everyone is born, I have a mother
and a house with many windows,
I have brothers, friends and a prison.
I have a wave that sea-gulls snatched away.
I have a view of my own and an extra blade of grass.
I have a moon past the peak of words.
I have the godsent food of birds and an olive tree beyond the kent of time.
I have traversed the land before swords turned bodies into banquets.
I come from there, I return the sky to its mother when for its mother the sky cries, and I weep for a returning cloud to know me.
I have learned the words of blood-stained courts in order to break the rules.
I have learned and dismantled all the words to construct a single one:

by Mahmoud Darwish |


 They did not recognize me in the shadows
That suck away my color in this Passport
And to them my wound was an exhibit
For a tourist Who loves to collect photographs
They did not recognize me,
Ah . . . Don’t leave 
The palm of my hand without the sun
Because the trees recognize me
Don’t leave me pale like the moon!

All the birds that followed my palm
To the door of the distant airport
All the wheatfields
All the prisons
All the white tombstones
All the barbed Boundaries
All the waving handkerchiefs
All the eyes
were with me,
But they dropped them from my passport

Stripped of my name and identity?
On soil I nourished with my own hands?
Today Job cried out
Filling the sky:
Don’t make and example of me again!
Oh, gentlemen, Prophets,
Don’t ask the trees for their names
Don’t ask the valleys who their mother is
>From my forehead bursts the sward of light
And from my hand springs the water of the river
All the hearts of the people are my identity
So take away my passport!

by Mahmoud Darwish |

I Come From There

 I come from there and I have memories 
Born as mortals are, I have a mother 
And a house with many windows, 
I have brothers, friends, 
And a prison cell with a cold window. 
Mine is the wave, snatched by sea-gulls, 
I have my own view, 
And an extra blade of grass. 
Mine is the moon at the far edge of the words, 
And the bounty of birds, 
And the immortal olive tree. 
I walked this land before the swords 
Turned its living body into a laden table. 

I come from there. I render the sky unto her mother 
When the sky weeps for her mother. 
And I weep to make myself known 
To a returning cloud. 
I learnt all the words worthy of the court of blood 
So that I could break the rule. 
I learnt all the words and broke them up 
To make a single word: Homeland.....

by Mahmoud Darwish |

Psalm Three

 On the day when my words
were earth...
I was a friend to stalks of wheat.

On the day when my words
were wrath
I was a friend to chains.

On the day when my words
were stones
I was a friend to streams.

On the day when my words
were a rebellion
I was a friend to earthquakes.

On the day when my words
were bitter apples
I was a friend to the optimist.

But when my words became
flies covered
my lips!...