Sazzad, Rehnuma. “Mahmoud Darwish’s Poetry as Sumud. Palestinian Resistance to Israeli Occupation and Subjugation.” Interventions (early view; online first).
This essay makes explicit the connection between Palestinian resistance to Israeli control and the principle of sumud. Drawing on Raja Shehadeh and Ismail Shammout, I define this concept and show its strategic role in the resistance. Arguably, critics have identified Darwish’s constant pursuit of aesthetics and his deep commitment to the Palestinian cause without linking them to the narrative of sumud. I suggest that his contribution to the narrative is built on the ground that his aggressors lack the intrinsic tie to the land, which his people perennially possess. Whereas the Israelis produce mythical claims on the land, the indigenous Palestinians are like their olive trees – unswervingly there. In particular, the creativity of the people makes present their absented homeland. Darwish’s exile renders the second phenomenon more comprehensible. Even though he was physically removed from his homeland at a young age, his imagination remained implanted there throughout his life, which resulted in a rich oeuvre.