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This Land

January 1, 2016

A poem by Mahmoud Darwish.

“This land gives us

all that makes life worth living:

April’s blushing advances,

the aroma of bread at dawn,

a woman’s haranguing of men,

the poetry of Aeschylus,

love’s trembling beginning,

moss on a stone

mothers dancing on a flute’s thread

and the invaders’ fear of memories.
This land gives us

all that makes life worth living:

September’s rustling end,

a woman leaving forty behind with her apricots,

an hour of sunlight in prison,

clouds reflecting swarms of insects,

a people’s applause for those who laugh at their erasure,

and the tyrant’s fear of songs.
This land gives us

all that makes life worth living:

Lady Earth, mother of all beginnings and endings,

She was called Palestine

and she is still called Palestine. 

My Lady, because you are my Lady, I deserve life.”

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