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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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Muhannā, Ḥusain 175

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Ḥusain Muhannā (b.1945) A famous poet and short story writer, Muhannā was born in Al-Boqa-iah, Upper Galilee, in 1945. He studied in Rama and now works as a teacher of Arabic and English in his village. Muhannā has published numerous volumes of poetry and short fiction and received many awards. The Martyr “They are alive….” We’ll take the shoes with which the roads are familiar off your feet And your tattered socks So that you can relieve your heart Here you have grown tired of running and entertaining the soldiers’ gazes So lay your thin body on the balcony of death And allow us to take the shoes off And weave from the meteor of time And of Talias A cover that fits your sleep above the stars So sleep… Until we regain the morning And the longing of birds to your eyes Until we tell you the last song assadi.indd 175 28/10/11 1:21 PM 176 The Story of a People: Palestinian Poets Within the Green-lines And we weep upon you… But only as much as pride allows. You fell from a towering place And dispersed like light The earth could not contain you So you were adopted by the sky. But we want you to flame as a star on earth Not in the sky, But so that dawn may crack early And in order for the balm wood to wake from its sleep And for “Al-Husayn”1 to rise and witness the spectacle of childhood The hope...

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