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.