Put it on record--I am an ArabAnd the number of my card is fifty thousandI have eight childrenAnd the ninth is due after summer.What's there to be angry about?Put it on record.--I am an ArabWorking with comrades of toil in a quarry.I have eight childernFor them I wrest the loaf of bread,The clothes and exercise booksFrom the rocksAnd beg for no alms at your doors,--Lower not myself at your doorstep.--What's there to be angry about?Put it on record.--I am an Arab.I am a name without a tide,Patient in a country where everythingLives in a whirlpool of anger.--My roots--Took hold before the birth of time--Before the burgeoning of the ages,--Before cypess and olive trees,--Before the proliferation of weeds.My father is from the family of the plough--Not from highborn nobles.And my grandfather was a peasant--Without line or genealogy.My house is a watchman's hut--Made of sticks and reeds.Does my status satisfy you?--I am a name without a surname.Put it on Record.--I am an Arab.Color of hair: jet black.Color of eyes: brown.My distinguishing features:--On my head the 'iqal cords over a keffiyeh--Scratching him who touches it.My address:--I am from a village, remote, forgotten,--Its streets without name--And all its men in the fields and quarry.--What's there to be angry about?Put it on record.--I am an Arab.You stole my forefathers' vineyards--And land I used to till,--I and all my childern,--And you left us and all my grandchildren--Nothing but these rocks.--Will your government be taking them too--As is being said?So!--Put it on record at the top of page one:--I don't hate people,--I trespass on no one's property.And yet, if I were to become starved--I shall eat the flesh of my usurper.--Beware, beware of my starvation.--And of my anger!
Mahmoud Darwish