Five Songs on Palestinian Poems
Gregory Youtz has provided the following programme notes for his work The Singer of Wind and Rain: Five Songs on Palestinian Poems. Like the Jews, Palestinians have produced a remarkable number of gifted intellectuals, artists and writers over the centuries. Like the Jews, Palestinians have suffered under many foreign rulers and been described in the most negative stereotypical ways by a world that does not know them. Somehow, both cultures have managed to keep alive their identity, their culture and their ability to imagine beauty amid the pain of war and pogrom.
These poems represent a tiny slice of the powerful poetry created by modern Palestinian poets in the last fifty tumultuous years. These are voices rarely heard in the West, voices that must be heard if the terrible struggle in "The Holy Land" is ever to cease. These poems may serve to remind us of just how strongly a people can hold on to their identities and their hopes and their dreams.
The poems are drawn from the "Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature" edited by Salma Khadra Jayyusi, published by Columbia University Press. All translations are used by permission of the editor.