‘Each Martyr has a Name’

Enemy by Mahmud Darwish (RIP)

I was there a month ago
I was there a year ago
I was there always, as if I had never been anywhere else
In the year ’82 of the last century something happened to us, somewhat like
what is happening to us now. We were besieged, we were killed

and we held out against our share of hell’s offerings. Those of us who were killed do not look alike. Each martyr has his own features, his own way of standing, his own eyes, name and age. It is the killers who look alike, because hidden in the machines they are like a single performer who presses the electronic buttons of mechanical devices. He kills and disappears. He sees us; we do not see him. Not because he’s a ghost, but because he has a mask of lead without features, eyes, age or name. He is he. And he has chosen to have only one name: Enemy.

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4 thoughts on “‘Each Martyr has a Name’

  1. just superb. the palestinian struggle embodies all that is great in the human condition. it also embodies the fight against all that is bad about imperialism. invariably great literature emanates from the depths of misery and injustice. keep it up bhupinder. this post has really lifted me up.

  2. I agree, Rahul. Reading some of Mahmud’s poetry last few days (to be frank after the news of his passing away came in), has been very refreshing. Even listening to his recitations on youtube, even though I understand nothing of the language (Arabic), is exhilarating.

  3. In a poet’s poetry and through it a people invest their dreams of freedom. The dream lives on with the poems.
    Mahmoud Darwish… Fi-Amaanillah…

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