Funeral of a Poet

In August, 2008, Mahmoud Darwish returned to Palestine for the last time.

He had passed away in Texas following a heart operation, and was flown to Ramallah where the Palestinian Authority held a large state funeral.

The irony of much of this would not have been lost on the poet, who stepped away from the PA even as it was created amid the Oslo Accords (which he thought were a mistake).

Born in the now destroyed village of Birwah, Darwish may have returned to a homeland for burial, but, atop a hill that would later be turned into a cultural palace and museum, he remains ‘in the presence of absence.’


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