Commentary on – Mahmud Darwish’s poem “I come from there”

I Come From There

Mahmoud Darwish


I come from there and I have memories 
Born as mortals are, I have a mother 
And a house with many windows, 
I have brothers, friends, 
And a prison cell with a cold window. 
Mine is the wave, snatched by sea-gulls, 
I have my own view, 
And an extra blade of grass. 
Mine is the moon at the far edge of the words, 
And the bounty of birds, 
And the immortal olive tree. 
I walked this land before the swords 
Turned its living body into a laden table. 

I come from there. I render the sky unto her mother 
When the sky weeps for her mother. 
And I weep to make myself known 
To a returning cloud. 
I learnt all the words worthy of the court of blood 
So that I could break the rule. 
I learnt all the words and broke them up 
To make a single word: Homeland….. 

Commentary on-

 Mahmud Darwish’s poem “I come from there”

This is a poem that is created according to the poet’s real life experience not from any imagery reflection. The poet Mahmud Darwish, who is known as “The Essential Breath of the Palestinian People”.  He is the exquisitely tuned singer of images that invoke, link and shine a brilliant light into the world’s whole heart.

The poem ‘I come from there’ is a masterpiece for expressing the deep mourns of Palestinian people’s mind that never got language before. Although this is clear that the subject matter of this poem is the poet’s personal but it is the representation of every   Palestinian people. Palestinian people are prisoners in their own homeland. They are refugee losing their own homeland to the Israeli soldiers.  Their houses where they have happy life with father-mother, brothers-sisters, wife son and daughter are being destroyed by these oppressing Israeli soldiers. The poet draws this sort of scenery in this poem.

 The homeland is the most expected place for a man. When he is divested from there he becomes the unhappy man. He often remembers the memories of the place. When he remembers the memories of the homeland and feels he can’t be there anymore the pain that he gets can’t be expressed in words. Here, in the poem “I come from there”, this mourn of the poet is drawn in a sad canvas. He also bravely compares Israeli people with sea-gull who were given shelter by Palestinian people. And these sea-gulls are depriving Palestinian people from their own land who gave them shelter.  

“Mine is the wave, snatched by sea-gull”

In the last stanza, the poet firstly shows his cry for his land. He compares his land as his mother. He urges his wish to go back to his own homeland.  

“And I weep to make myself known

To a returning cloud”

The poet is not also urges for his right but also wants to possess his right. He wants to break injustice rules. There is no rule except his homeland that is snatched away from them.

Like other Mahmud Darwish’s poem this poem is also the mouth speech of Palestinian people. The poem is firstly a poem of remembering memories, Secondly, is a poem of showing oppression on a nation by another nation, thirdly, is a poem for the oppressed people’s urge for their right and finally, is a poem showing the reason why they (oppressed people) are fighting.

Prepared by

Abdur Rahman Nirob


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