December 8 marks the anniversary of the First Palestinian Intifada (Uprising).
On that day, in 1987, thousands of Palestinians took to the streets to protest against the brutality of Israeli occupation, organizing mass demonstrations, forming resistance committees and staging strikes all over the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Israeli forces brutally repressed the uprising, which lasted for nearly six years, killing thousands of Palestinians and injuring many more.
The Palestine Chronicle pays tribute to the Palestinian people by publishing three poems dedicated to Palestinian resistance.
Martyrs of the Intifada
By Fadwa Tuqan
They drew up the map of the road to life
they paved it with precious stones and with their young hearts
they raised their hearts as stones on their palms
embers and flame
and with these they pelted the monster of the road,
now is the time to show courage and strength,
their voice was heard strong everywhere
it reverberated everywhere
and there was courage and strength
they died standing
blazing on the road
shining like stars
their lips pressed to the lips of life.
Death charged and drove its scythe through them
they stood up in the face of death
fairer than palm groves
fairer than the yield of wheat
fairer than bright day rising
fairer than the trees which the rain has bathed in the lap of dawn
they rose they sprang they were on their way to the battlefield
and there they spread like balls of fire
they burned they shone and gave forth light
in the middle of the road–and then disappeared like the sun.
Ah dream of theirs which appear in the distance
embracing the happy future!
You will bring about their rebirth
along with their great tomorrow.
Their rebirth will come will rise out of the depth of death and darkness,
on its face it bears good tidings
and on its broad brow a star shines.
Earth shall suckle him all through life
neither the concentrations of evil
nor the demons of earth land and sea
shall tear him from its breasts
never will he be weaned whatever the usurper’s cruelty
he shall not be weaned
until in a perfidious night death paints
the nipples of the bountiful breasts with the juice of bitter apple.
Look at them in the distance!
How they rise up higher and higher
while the whole world watches!
How they climb up ever higher
on a ladder of their gushing blood!
Never shall treacherous death seize their hearts
as long as rebirth and the new dawn
remain their vision which guides them on the path of sacrifice!
Look at them falcons in their Intifada
how they join to the heavens the land and their sacred country!
(Translated from Arabic)
– Fadwa Tuqan, was a Palestinian poet known for her representations of resistance to Israeli occupation in contemporary Arab poetry. Sometimes, she is referred to as the “Poet of Palestine”
THREAD: First Intifada
"From 1987–1993, more than 1,300 Palestinians were killed, more than 120,000 were wounded, and some 600,000 were jailed. These are stories from the First Palestinian Intifada (uprising), which erupted in 1987." pic.twitter.com/2hxvi7kGNJ
— US Palestinian Community Network (@uspcn) December 8, 2021
Hand of War
By Hosam Maarouf
We hold war’s hand,
not so that it walks among us,
but it is death,
a bit tardy, we cajole it.
We hold war’s hand,
convinced that this is the last time
it waves catastrophe to us,
since the road is a futile wall,
and the country is searching
for a photograph
of collective sorrow.
(Translated by Fady Joudah)
– Hosam Maarouf is a Palestinian poet and novelist from Gaza. His poetry collection Death Smells Like Glass was awarded the Mahmoud Darwish Museum prize in 2015. He also writes on literature for various Arabic newspapers.
— Laila Palestinian girl (@LailaPalestini1) August 10, 2021
Return to your land
And I will go back to mine.
You sowed the seed.
But it’s nourished by the blood
of my brethren.
The orange trees bear fruits of
The olives reek of death.
It is on my beloved land,
You have cast your walls of
The lambs of the prophets of
Graze on blood-stained grass.
Jerusalem, the land of peace,
You know the prophets roamed
Gaza still echoes of poetry,
Darwish and Barghouti.
Holy land, indeed.
Your cruel bombs,
Your cut-throat bullets;
Elements of the brief monsoon.
Spring blooms of trees
Erupting off Qabrs
Pampered by breeze
Fragranced by martyrdom.
(Translated by Anan Ashraf)
– Fadlurrahman was born in 1995, in Vazhikkadavu village, in India . Apart from literature and academics, he pursues his interest in political activism and theater. This poem was originally published in The Palestine Chronicle