A Poem for Land Day: Mahmoud Darwish’s ‘The Second Olive Tree’

But: How noble and how splendid! Standing, she is seated, and seated, standing. After the victorious soldiers Had gone on their way, we buried him there, in that deep  Pit – the grandmother’s cradle. And that is why we were Sure that he would become, in a little while, an olive Tree – a thorny olive tree – and green!  Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditTumblrWhatsAppPinterestTelegramPocketSkypeLike this:Like Loading… In the years that followed, March 30 has been marked as “Land Day.” “Ancient olive trees cared for by Franciscan monks, Palestine, Jerusalem, Garden of Gethsemane / American Colony” Today, to commemorate the day, we have a poem by Mahmoud Darwish in translation by Marilyn Hacker. Shadow Covers her single leg, and she will not take her leaves off in front of the storm. No one says to the olive tree: How beautiful you are! A Poem for Land Day: Mahmoud Darwish’s ‘The Second Olive Tree’ March 30, 2022March 30, 2022 by mlynxqualey On March 30, 1976, Israeli police shot and killed six Palestinians as they were protesting the Israeli government’s expropriation of thousands of acres of Palestinian land. She did not weep or cry out.  But one of her grandsons Who witnessed the execution threw a stone At a soldier, and he was martyred with her. They did not treat her as a prisoner of war But as a venerable grandmother, before whose calm dignity Swords shatter. The Second Olive Tree By Mahmoud Darwish Translated by Marilyn Hacker The olive tree does not weep and does not laugh. They vanquished our grandmother who foundered, Her branches on the ground, her roots in the sky. But These soldiers, these modern soldiers Besiege her with bulldozers and uproot her from her lineage Of earth. And she, She who teaches soldiers to lay down their rifles And re-educates them in tenderness and humility: Go home And light your lamps with my oil! In her reticent silver-green Color hesitates to say what it thinks, and to look at what is behind The portrait, for the olive tree is neither green nor silver. She lives as a friendly sister of eternity, neighbor of time That helps her stock her luminous oil and Forget the invaders’ names, except the Romans, who Coexisted with her, and borrowed some of her branches To weave wreaths. The olive tree is the color of peace, if peace needed A color. The olive tree Is the hillside’s modest lady.

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