The Nakba—the Palestinian people’s violent and catastrophic displacement in 1948—is seared in the Palestinian collective memory, and its ramifications have defined all Palestinians’ lives whether in the West Bank, Gaza, inside Israel, or the diaspora. This tragedy has also found expression in all Palestinian arts and cultural endeavors. During the twentieth century, and especially after 1948, Palestinian poets and writers, musicians, visual artists, and others engaged in cultural expression have reflected the sentiments of loss, displacement, and nostalgia as well as of dignity, defiance, and steadfastness in their work.
On this day we commemorate the Nakba and remember all those who have suffered and continue to suffer the injustices perpetrated against the Palestinian people. We salute the many poets whose writings and sensibility communicate the Palestinians’ myriad experiences of loss and steadfastness. Here are a few poems to commemorate the Nakba. Send us your recommendations and we will add them to this list (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) .
“On This Land” by Mahmoud Darwish (read live, with Trio Joubran in the background)
“On the Trunk of an Olive Tree” by Tawfiq Zayyad
“The Deluge and the Tree” by Fadwa Tuqan
Author bio: (same page)
“Exodus” by Taha Muhammad Ali
“How Palestinians Keep Warm” by Naomi Shihab Nye
“A Picture of the House at Beit Jala” by Ghassan Zaqtan
“Even” by Nathalie Handal
Author bio: http://www.nathaliehandal.com/biography.htm
“Nakba Day” by Remi Kanazi
“Mimesis” by Fadi Joudah
Author bio: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/fady-joudah