Parting Words: The Poetry Of Mahmoud Darwish Host Andrea Seabrook remembers the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, who died Saturday at the age of 67. Darwish was known as a critic of Palestinian leadership and of the Israeli occupation of his homeland. His poems addressed the Palestinian experience of exile.
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Parting Words: The Poetry Of Mahmoud Darwish

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Parting Words: The Poetry Of Mahmoud Darwish

Parting Words: The Poetry Of Mahmoud Darwish

Parting Words: The Poetry Of Mahmoud Darwish

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/93473116/93473172" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish died Saturday in Houston after complications from open-heart surgery. He was 67. President Mahmoud Abbas has declared three days of national mourning in his honor.

Darwish has been called the heart and tongue of the Palestinians. He wrote this poem while in an Israeli jail more than 40 years ago. It is called "Ummi" ("My Mother"). Lebanese singer Marcel Khalife put the poem to music, and it is now an anthem for many Palestinians.

I long for my mother's bread,

And my mother's coffee,

And her touch.

Childhood memories grow up in me

Day after day.

I must be worthy of my life

At the hour of my death

Worthy of the tears of my mother.