4 March 08 | Melissa Schoenberger

This week, El Pais features the work of the Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish. A number of his books of poetry have been translated from Arabic into Spanish, including Menos rosas, Estado de sitio, and Mural. Darwish, born to Muslim parents in Al-Birwa, faced exile to Egypt, France, Lebanon, and Tunisia as a result of his writing and political involvment. Ángel Rupérez elaborates on Darwish’s ability to take on the rather tricky task of crafting poems that approach political subjects:

La mejor poesía social y política es ésta, la que denuncia sin renunciar a la ambición artística…el resultado es una indiscutible y artística complejidad.

(The best social and political poetry is this, that which denounces without renouncing artistic ambition…the result is an unquestionable and artistic complexity.)

Stuart Reigeluth contributes an accompanying article that provides much more information concerning Darwish’s political life. Reigeluth writes that, despite exile, incarceration, and censorship, Darwish, “without accusing any one group, spoke about how the prolonged Israeli occupation has divided Palestine.”

You can find both articles in their original Spanish versions here.

Darwish’s official website has more information about the poet, including his biography, audio clips of Darwish reading his poetry in Arabic, and a listing of his books that have been translated into English.

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