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The Story of a People

An Anthology of Palestinian Poets within the Green-Lines- Edited and translated by Jamal Assadi- With Assistance from Simon Jacobs

Edited By Jamal Assadi

The Story of a People is the sixth in a series of volumes on Palestinian writers who compel into unity the contradictions of being Israeli citizens as well as sons and daughters of the Palestinian people. This volume contains the works of forty poets, and offers a variety of themes, styles, contexts, imagery, tones, and language.
The poets, arranged alphabetically, depict a faithful picture of the various aspects of Arab life among what is called, paradoxically, Israeli-Palestinian societies. They present new arenas where opposing factors harmoniously join to struggle for dignity, freedom, and justice. Readers of this volume will encounter serious poems strewn with light and humorous themes and poems of sensual and spiritual love interwoven with poems of the unusual and political. These Israeli- Palestinian poets’ distinctive flavor emerges from their ability to challenge norms, fight oppression, and burst open closed doors to tell their own stories – the stories of their plight, alienation, marginalization, and hopes and dreams – in a new magnified voice, first to their community, then to their people and nation, then to their country, and now to the wider English-speaking public.

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Ḥassūn, Nazīh 104

Extract

Nazīh Ḥassūn (b.1957) Hassūn was born in Shafa’amr in February, 1957. He likes reading and music and owns his own bookshop. As for Me, I Melt in the Words She said I loved poetry; rather, I am addicted to it And loved the pulses of the letters and words ‘Til I let poetry blossom in my blood And I loved a letter that intoxicated my pulse Shall you read my poem, oh, my poet To excite the place in me where hidden pain dwells Bring me the cup of poetry because it is A cup whose fascination incites the flowing of my tears I started to read from my poems’ flowers Poetry that transcends the beauty of its petals Poetry that spreads its pleasantness and softness Tender love poetry that feels smooth And I recited from the verses of love poems That which captivates the minds and enthralls the emotions So she moaned, sighed, showing indulgence Until I saw magic in her eyes And I saw above her mouth the glow of passion assadi.indd 104 28/10/11 1:21 PM Nazīh Ḥassūn 105 And the redness in her cheeks was overwhelming I asked her when I saw her love Do you sip wine from my words She said that after poetry aroused her desires, it affected her heart, her pulse Oh Lord, poetry has affected my very eyesight I can no longer conceal my sighs The sipping of wine is simply a sin While the sipping...

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