Monday, 7 June 2010


You may fasten my chains
Deprive me of my books and tobacco
You may fill my mouth with earth
Poetry will feed my heart, like blood
It is salt to the bread
And liquid to the eye
I will write it with nails,
eye sockets and daggers,
I will recite it in my prison cell -
in the bathroom -
in the stable -
Under the whip -
Under the chains -
In spite of my handcuffs
I have a million nightingales
On the branches of my heart
Singing the song of liberation.

from Defiance, by Mahmoud Darwish.

[Translation taken from Our Roots Are Still Alive: the Story of the Palestinian People (New York: Institute for Independent Social Journalism, 1981), p. 137.]

Thanks to friends in Kakehashi / JRCL (日本革命的共産主義者同盟) for the photo.

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