Homeland in Memoriam: Memory and the Palestinian physical environment in selected poems by Mahmoud Darwish
MetadataShow full item record
Mahmoud Darwish’s poetry is strongly influenced by the displacement and subsequent state of exile he has lived in for a large part of his life. This is illustrated by the clear focus in his work on the relationship between the Palestinian people and the physical environment of their homeland. Darwish’s poetry presents these two as deeply connected, despite the separating forces of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This connection between the Palestinian people and the Palestinian physical environment is constituted in relation to the motif of memory in three particular ways: (1) the physical environment is represented as an indispensable element in the process of remembering the lost homeland; (2) the father is put forward as a mnemonic figure to express the durable and interdependent relationship Palestinians have with the physical environment; and (3) in several instances the importance of remembering the distinctiveness of the Palestinian/environment relation is stressed. Ultimately, the physical environment is represented in the context of memory and remembering in order to preserve the relationship between Palestinians and the environment and thereby avoid complete exclusion from their homeland.