Date: 14 / 02 / 2009 Time: 09:55
Huriyya Darwish at her son’s funeral

Bethlehem – Ma’an – The mother of late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish died on Friday, six months after burying her son.

The funeral procesion will begin Saturday after the noon prayer from her home at Jadeidi, five kilometers north east of Acre.

Darwish’s mother was a central figure in his poetry, immortalized as a symbol for the earth of his homeland in his famous poem, “For my mother” turned into a song by Lebanese singer Marcel Khalifah.

أمي …
أحنُّ إلى خبز أُمي
وقهوة أمي
ولمسة أُمي ..
وتكبُر في الطفولةُ
يوماً على صدر يومِ
وأعشَقُ عمرِي لأني
إذا مُتُّ,
أخجل من دمع أُمي !
خذينيِ إذا عدتُ يوماً
وشاحاً لهُدْبِكْ
وغطّي عظامي بعشب
تعمّد من طهر كعبك
وشُدي وثاقي ..
بخصلة شَعر..
بخيطٍ يلوِّح في ذيل ثوبك ..
عساني أصير ُإلهاً
إلهاً أصير..
إذا ما لمستُ قرارة قلبك !
ضعيني , إذا ما رجعتُ
وقوداً بتنور ناركْ ..
وحبل غسيل على سطح دارك
لأني فقدتُ الوقوفَ
بدون صلاة نهارك
هَرِمْتُ فردّي نجوم الطفولة
حتى أُشارك صغار العصافير
درب الرجوع .. لعُش انتظارِك!!
(من ديوان “عاشق من فلسطين” 1966)

I long for my mother’s bread
my mother’s coffee
my mother’s touch…
and childhood grows in me
one day on another day’s chest
I must be worth my life
at the hour of my death
worth the tears of my mother

Take me, if I return one day,
as a veil for your lashes
and cover my bones with grass
baptized by your footsteps
bind us together
with a lock of your hair,
with a thread waving from the hem of your dress,
I might become immortal
a god, I might…
if I touch the deep floor of your heart

Place me, if I return,
like wood for your brick oven…
and hang me on the roof like your laundry line
because I can no longer stand
without the prayer of your days…

I have aged, mother, so bring back the childhood stars
so that I
along with the swallows
can chart the path
back to your waiting nest

Darwish’s mother, Huriyya Darwish, attended her son’s funeral in Ramallah on 9 August 2008. She died at the age of ninety-six.