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“Where can I free myself of the homeland in my body?”

Happy birthday, Mahmoud Darwish! Here are some quotes from his writing.

“One day, I will be a poet. Water will depend on my visions.”

“Where can I write my latest account of the body’s incarnation?
It’s the end of what was bound to end! Where is that which ends?
Where can I free myself of the homeland in my body?”

“Against barbarity, poetry can resist only by confirming its attachment to human fragility like a blade of grass growing on a wall while armies march by.”

“The Palestinians are the only nation in the world that feels with certainty that today is better than what the days ahead will hold. Tomorrow always heralds a worse situation.”

“Poetry and beauty are always making peace. When you read something beautiful you find coexistence; it breaks walls down.”

“History laughs at both the victim and the aggressor.”

“A person can only be born in one place. However, he may die several times elsewhere: in the exiles and prisons, and in a homeland transformed by the occupation and oppression into a nightmare.”

 

 

John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

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