Marcel Khalifé : “Would you believe me when I say to you that poets do not die, but only pretend to ?”
For many years, my music has enjoyed a special, and especially gratifying, association with the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish.
Our respective corpora have grown to be reminiscent of each other, so that the name of each of the twain, instantly and without reflection, would evoke the name of the other.
How very appropriate, for all of my musical milestones that punctuate my thirty-year career, beginning with Promises of the Storm and culminating with The Doves Fly, are graced with the lyricism and poignancy that are uniquely Darwishian.
Even before we got to know each other personally, I felt as though Darwish’s poetry, with its divine assertiveness and prophetic cadences, had been revealed to me and for me.
I could nearly savor his mother’s bread that has become iconic to his readers. I could feel the eyes of his Rita as deeply as I could feel the pain that his Joseph suffered at the hands of his treacherous siblings, and I could identify with his passport, which I fancied carried my picture, just as personally as I could identify with his olive grove, his sand, and his sparrows. They were all, at a personal level, mine.
“And I adore my life because if I die I will be ashamed of my mother’s tears”- Darwish
Perhaps, this is the only time that Mahmoud Darwish felt ashamed and it is because he departed before his mother. He left her the tears to shed but not a poem to eulogize him with.
I am the one who carried his poetry and traveled with it to far away places. I am the one who carried his soil and longing to his mother, his Rita, his olive tree and grape vine. Would you believe me when I say to you that poets do not die, but only pretend to ?
From al-Oufok here