Poems of a Palestinian Boyhood

Poems of a Palestinian Boyhood

by Reja-E Busailah


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In his ninetieth year, Reja-e Busailah looks back on growing up in a small Palestinian town in the 1930s until the turbulent upheaval of 1948, when over 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes by the Israelis, and the author was forced to join the Death March from Lydda. Although blind since infancy, Busailah recalls with stunning detail a boyhood shaped by disability, education, family and friends, British soldiers and Zionist settlers. Poems of a Palestinian Boyhood is an extraordinary book: unapologetic. unflinching, raw and beautiful

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781916012134
Publisher: Smokestack Books
Publication date: 06/17/2019
Pages: 150
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Reja-e Busailah was born in Jerusalem in 1929. He was educated in Hebron and at the Al-'Amiriyyah School in Yafa. He studied English at Cairo University and received a PhD in English literature at New York University. For thirty years he taught English at Indiana University. In 1953 he helped found a school for the blind in Kuwait. From 1967 to 1991 he directed the Palestinian children's charity, Project Loving Care. His books include The Ordeal: Poems of Anguish, Resistance, and Hope (with Dennis Brutus, Ved Vatuk and Tawkiq Zayyad) and We are Human Too: Poems on the Palestinian Condition and In the Land of My Birth (winner of the 2018 Palestinian Book Award for memoir). He lives with his wife in Kokomo, Indiana.

Table of Contents

Preface 11

Part I

The Time it Was 17

A Cluster 18

The Ides of March 19

The Two Sisters 20

Mothers of Jerusalem 21

The Wedding 22

In the Eclipse of the Moon 24

Waiting for the Light in Nazareth 25

From Yafa 26

Ear of Wheat 27

The Foundling 28

Dafoura 30

Uncle Haj Ali or the Ninety-Nine Names of God 31

Her Temper 33

My Aunt's Legacy 34

Trial at Ramleh 35

Peaches 36

Progress of the Sun 38

Boasting 39

Mother and Child 40

For We Know Not What We Do 42

Under the Sycamore Tree 43

The Orphan 45

Part II

The Spider 49

By the Sacred Cave 52

Bilal 54

Observations 56

This Noon 58

The Palm Tree 59

Out of Bondage 60

Easter Poem 61

To a Poisoned Girl 62

The Magic Fruit 63

The Pity of it 66

Eve 68

Part III

For Now 71

Remembrance of an Old Spring 73

In Exile 74

Coal to Cardiff 77

To the Lemon 79

The Betrayal of Joseph 80

Dead End 82

In May 83

Just Around the Corner 85

Part IV

Song of Songs 89

After the Long March 90

At Sitti's 92

At the Village 94

Awad 95

The Beam 96

Manning the Door: an Elegy for Ibrahim Abu-Lughod 98

When the Assault was Intended to Lydda 103

A Slice of Palestine 105

Ali of Lydda 106

Mother and Son 107

The Bite, or the Power of Symbiosis 108

Miracle of the Turkey 110

Abu Talab 112

On the Range 113

Over the Well 115

Tell Them 117

Remembering after Forty Years in the Wilderness 118

To Whom 119

In Principio Erat Verbum 121

Lullaby for an Ass 123

Part V

A Conversation 127

Fable of the Deer and the Hound 128

The Shunnar and the Olive Tree 129

Angel at the Gate 131

Gallows Land 132

Not in Vain 134

The Wife of Awad 135

In Memory of Ismail Shammout 138

Dialogue between Lambs and Saxophones 141

Journey of a Curse 142

Notes 145

Acknowledgements 150

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