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Nation, Lyric, Epic: The Poetry of Mahmoud Darwish

Semester and Year SP 2020
Course Number IDSEM-UG1779
Section 001
Instructor Sinan Antoon
Days Tue
Time 6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Units 4
Level U



Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008) achieved immense fame and international success at a relatively young age as a national/ist poet writing about and for Palestinian existence and resistance in Israel and, later, in various exiles. He resisted this label early on and reinvented himself and his poetry. But the tension between the “political” and the “poetic” and the pressures and demands of the former continued to haunt Darwish even as he became a renowned world poet and one of the most important Arab poets of the 20th century. The course will trace Darwish’s rise in the cultural and political context of the second half of the 20th century and follow his metamorphosis from a national/ist poet to a global figure. We will focus on his experiments with form and narrative and his engagement with nationalism, mythology, history, and other poetic traditions. In addition to extensive selections from Darwish’s work, readings (all in English) will include Yeates, Lorca, Neruda, Brecht, Said, and Benjamin.


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Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)