Journal of an Ordinary Grief

Journal of an Ordinary Grief

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Author: Mahmoud Darwish

Translator: Ibrahim Muhawi

Publisher: Archipelago Books (2010)

“Every beautiful poem is an act of resistance,” writes Mahmoud Darwish. In these probing essays, Darwish, a voice of the Palestinian people and one of the most transcendent poets of his generation, interrogates the experience of occupation and the meaning of liberation.
Calling upon myth, memory, and language, these essays delve into the poet’s experience of house arrest, his encounters with Israeli interrogators, and the periods he spent in prison.
Meditative, lyrical, and rhythmic—Darwish gives absence a vital presence in these linked essays. 
Journal is a moving and intimate account of the loss of homeland and, for many, of life inside the porous walls of occupation—no ordinary grief.

"This collection of essays is one of the most effective, useful, and deeply moving witnessings of a historical tragedy I have read. The writing has an unsurpassed freshness, power, and awe, exactly because it is poetry that happens to have justified margins. Darwish hungers to understand why such calamities have befallen his people and has a profound need for sharing—and succeeds brilliantly at both of these. This book should be on the reading list of every school in this country." 

—Pierre Joris