The Poet’s Public Persona: A Lover from Palestine

  • Dalya Cohen-Mor


This chapter introduces Mahmoud Darwish to the reader, presenting the major stages in his life and poetic career. I discuss the characteristics of Darwish’s political poetry, focusing on his use of the beloved as a metaphor for Palestine, for which he became known as “a lover from Palestine.” This public image led to a tendency among Arab readers and critics alike to construe every love poem that he wrote as a poem for the homeland. Given this tendency, and the ongoing Palestinian struggle for liberation from Israeli occupation, the Rita poems, dedicated to an Israeli-Jewish woman with whom Darwish had a passionate love affair, were largely shrouded in silence and mystery or else interpreted metaphorically.


Palestine—national poet—Mahmoud Darwish Mahmoud Darwish—public persona Mahmoud Darwish—political poetry Mahmoud Darwish—love poems 

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dalya Cohen-Mor
    • 1
  1. 1.PotomacUSA

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